Weekly News - June 13, 2016

Care4Kids Update

There will be a veto session on Monday - please make THREE phone calls before Monday - your House and Senate members and the Governor's Office (860-566-4840or toll-free 800-406-1527). Urge them to fix the Care4Kids shortfall that will result in 4,450 families losing their childcare subsidy. Click HERE to look up your legislators by town. To see how many families will be affected in your town, click HERE. If the changes will impact your family, please tell your legislators and the Governor your story. Throwing families who rely on Care4Kids off the program is not the answer. 

Background:
Changes were made by the federal government to ensure continuity of care for children in Care4Kids without additional funding to cover the cost of those changes.  Connecticut estimates a shortfall of more than $30 million created by the changes.  Connecticut has announced its intent to change eligibility from 50% of state median income to 30% of state median income to absorb the cost of the new federal changes.  Because of this eligibility change,  6,100 children will lose their child care subsidy in the next year – exactly the opposite result of what was intended by the federal changes.  

The position of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance: 

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance opposes the approach planned here in Connecticut.  The Alliance recommends maintaining the current eligibility criteria (50% of SMI) for families approved prior to July 1, 2016 in order to ensure continuity for those children.  The Alliance recommends the state continue to maintain the 50% criteria until such time as the budget available for fiscal year 2016-2017 is consumed by services that will be provided that period for approved families.   At that time we recommend that all subsequent families be put on a wait list pending additional funds or the next fiscal year.   

Further, the Alliance strongly recommends that a joint effort be made to aggressively pursue an initiative to develop new federal and state funding to be allocated for this important subsidy that supports stable child care and employment for thousands of children and their families.

If you would like this as a link to share, click HERE

Last week, the first of many meetings was held, bringing parents, providers, advocates and legislators together to discuss the Care4Kids eligibility situation. These meetings will continue throughout the next few weeks and into the summer. The issue has gotten press coverage, bringing the impact the changes will have on real Connecticut families to light. Since last Wednesday, WFSB Channel 3NBC CTWTNH Channel 8, Univision, CT Radio Network (Clip 1 and Clip 2), Hartford Courant and Norwich Bulletin have done stories on Care4Kids. 

The next Care4Kids legislative meetings are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, June 22, 5:30 p.m., at St. Paul's Child Development Center, 1475 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport. Please RSVP to HB.Advocate@optimum.net 
  • Thursday, June 23, 6 p.m., CLC-William Pitt, 195 Hillandale Ave, Stamford. Please RSVP to debbie.ducksworth@uwwesternct.org 
  • Tuesday, June 28, 10 a.m., at Sleeping Giant Day Care, 11 Pine Street, Hamden. 

There will also be a meeting on Tuesday, June 28 at 6:30 p.m. in New Haven with OEC Commissioner Myra Jones-Taylor. For more details, click HERE.

We urge you to sign the CT Early Childhood Alliance's petition, as we call on our U.S. Senators and members of Congress to increase federal appropriations for CCDBG to cover the costs required by the 2014 reauthorization. Please share it with your friends and family and ask them to sign it, too. 

We have created a section on our website that includes the petition and our position statement. It can be found HERE. We invite organizations to sign onto the position statement. Please contact us if you would like to be included.

You can encourage families who are impacted to take a few action steps. SEIU has created several flyers that can be displayed in facilities. It's available in English and Spanish

Tell Congress to Vote NO on Child Nutrition Bill

Recent improvements in the child nutrition program have allowed millions more children from high poverty neighborhoods to receive free or reduced-price meals at school. But many of these kids are in danger of going hungry again, as House Republican leaders are advancing a bill that will roll back the recent improvements.

The child nutrition bill weakens standards for all school lunches so the meals could be less nutritious, and it bypasses an opportunity to increase support for more nutritious meals to be served in child care and Head Start programs. This bill would punish our nation’s most vulnerable children for being poor.

Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to your U.S. House Representative. Tell them to oppose the Child Nutrition Bill.