Weekly News - July 31, 2017

Budget Update

On July 31, the Senate convened to take on the SEBAC agreement. After hours of debate, the Senate narrowly approved the agreement, with Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman offering the "aye" vote to break the tie. Thank you to everyone who made calls yesterday to Senators Slossberg, Hartley and Doyle, the three senators who were on the fence. To read more about what transpired yesterday, click HERE. 

Now, focus returns to the budget. We are more than a month into the fiscal year without a budget. We need to continue to push for new revenue, because cuts alone would be devastating. Sheldon Toubman, staff attorney for New Haven Legal Aid, sat down with the CT Mirror, to talk about the need to raise revenue, so as not to shred the safety net. House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said last week, prior to the Senate vote on the SEBAC agreement, that if the Senate approved the concessions package, the budget shortfall would be in the $200-$400 million range. CT Newsjunkie has more.

If you haven't spoken to your legislators recently, do it now. Don't assume your neighbor is doing it - legislators need to hear from all of us. We know for a fact that they're hearing a lot from the "no new taxes" folks and not hearing nearly enough from us. Tell them you support increased revenue, whether it's the income tax, sugar tax, tolls, an increase to the cigarette tax. We CANNOT make cuts only. There has to be a balance and this budget has to be fair and moral.

CABHN (CT Alliance for Basic Human Needs) will host a "part two update" on the state budget, with CT Voices for Children's Ray Noonan presenting. The event takes place Friday, August 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 21 Oak Street, Hartford (building that houses CEA, first floor). There is no RSVP necessary.

CT Voices for Children Issues New Report: Accessing Quality in CT's Early Childhood System

CT Voices for Children released a new report on July 24, entitled "Accessing Quality in CT's Early Childhood System," which compares NAEYC accredited programs to Perry Preschool, Abecedarian, and CARE. Among the top findings: 

  • The best models for early care and education show significant enduring benefits in children’s test scores, graduation rates, employment, earnings, and other areas.
  • High-quality early care and education has two key components: responsive classroom experiences plus wrap-around supports to meet the needs of the whole child and the family.
  • Although most ECE programs in Connecticut do not include rigorous wrap-around supports, our state’s early childhood system as a whole includes those supports.
  • Connecticut’s NAEYC-accredited ECE programs are roughly comparable to the best available models and bring an estimated $2.3 billion in long-term returns to the state.
  • Despite recent efforts to improve the quality of care, increasing access to care remains a significant challenge, especially for low-income families.

 Recommendations to Improve Quality and Access

  • Preserve funding for wrap-around service programs for early childhood.
  • Continue current Office of Early Childhood quality improvement efforts, with greater involvement of parents and ECE providers.
  • Prioritize access to care for low-income families.

A few weeks prior to this report's released, CT Voices also released The Economic Benefits of High-Quality Early Care, in which the organizations estimated the value of current high-quality programs, the value CT would gain from high-quality care for all children who need it, and the value lost through keeping Care 4 Kids closed. The report was the topic (along with a teaser of the new report) on WICC 600 AM's "Coffee Break Chat." Click HERE to listen.

Alliance Hosts Care4Kids Question on Hartford Foundation Early Childhood Collaborative Website

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving's Early Childhood Collaborative offers a website, that serves as an early childhood hub for learning, sharing, and networking on the latest early childhood research, best practices and policy. There are various topics of interest for child care providers - particularly in the Hartford Region - to share and discuss. Currently, the CT Early Childhood Alliance is leading a discussion on the Care4Kids topic. To find our discussion, click HERE.  You can also find the site here - http://www.hfpgcollaborative.org/ You'll have to set up a FREE account to comment. Check it out and join the conversation.


Support for the Alliance comes from of our members and our funders: The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, Connecticut Health Foundation, Children's Fund of Connecticut, CT Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, a project of CT Council of Philanthropy; The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut; Community Foundation of Greater New Britain; Community Foundation of Greater New Haven; The Fund for Greater Hartford; and The Eder Family Foundation