Weekly News March 3, 2020

Testimony Needed by 3 p.m. Thursday!

The Education Committee's Public Hearing has been scheduled to Friday, March 6, starting at 10 a.m., in Room 1E. Written testimony should be sent to Edtestimony@cga.ct.gov by 3pm on Thursday!  If you would like to testify in person it probably won't be until the afternoon or evening.  If you would like us to sign you up to testify in person, email Merrrill at merrill@earlychildhoodalliance.com. The following early childhood bills will be heard on Friday.

H.B. No. 5218 (RAISED) AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE OFFICE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD.

H.B. No. 5216 (RAISED) AN ACT ELIMINATING THE LICENSURE EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDING CHILD CARE SERVICES.

H.B. No. 5220 (RAISED) AN ACT EXPANDING ELIGIBILITY IN THE CARE4KIDS PROGRAM TO PARENTS PARTICIPATING IN AN EVEN START PROGRAM OR ENROLLED IN CERTAIN SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAMS. FACT SHEET

H.B. No. 5222 (RAISED) AN ACT EXPANDING ELIGIBILITY IN THE CARE4KIDS PROGRAM FOR HOMELESS FAMILIES. FACT SHEET

H.B. No. 5379 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE ALLOCATION OF SLOTS FOR STATE-FUNDED CHILD CARE CENTERS.

H.B. No. 5213 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE CREATION OF A PILOT PROGRAM FOR AN EARLY CHILDHOOD BUSINESS INCUBATOR MODEL. INCUBATOR FACT SHEET

If you'd like us to sign you up to testify on Friday or would like more information on how to testify, email Merrill at merrill@earlychildhoodalliance.com

Staying Safe Regarding the Coronavirus

The Office of Early Childhood has released a memo to help child care providers prepare for the potential spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Read the document HERE (English) or HERE (Spanish).

Currently, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island all have confirmed or presumptive cases of the illness.

Thank you to Janice Gruendel for sending this information along - James Robb, MD., shares some advice regarding the CoronaVirus:

The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.

Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves:

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip - do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home's entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can't immediately wash your hands.

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to.

The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:

1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.

Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average - everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.

2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you - it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth - it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.

3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.

4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY "cold-like" symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.

Save the Date: Advocacy Day 2020

Please save the date of Wednesday, March 25, for CT Early Childhood Alliance Advocacy Day. It is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Old Judiciary Room, with advocates branching out after the program to speak to their legislators. More details to come, but now is the time to be contacting your legislators or their aides to schedule meetings. Ask for an appointment shortly after noon. You can register for Advocacy Day HERE.

Count All Kids Census Campaign Update

The Census count is nearly at our doorsteps! The invitations will be hitting mailboxes between March 12-20.

The Alliance's Merrill Gay & CAHS's Liz Fraser were both interviewed for a blog post by Count All Kids, regarding plans Connecticut has for making sure children are counted here. To read the blog, click HERE.

Child care providers - Remember, if you're interested in hosting a Census Party, please contact Melvette Hill at melvettehill@gmail.com

The Alliance also has access to a children's book called "We Count," which helps explain the Census. Currently, we have books available in English and Spanish. To obtain the books, we will need one of your organization's members to complete a short training session to become "Census Experts" (Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. online). To register for the training, click HERE. To fill out the Google form for interest in the books, click HERE.

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you will see our daily Census posts. Please feel free to share these posts via your social media accounts, so we can bring more awareness to the upcoming Census. If you're looking for us on Facebook, search "CT Early Childhood Alliance," "CT Association for Human Services," and "Count All Kids Connecticut." If you're looking for us on Twitter, search "CTECA" or "CAHS_org." The website is also up and running at www.countallkidsct.org!

There is still uncertainty, which is why people need to be reassured by those they trust that the Census is safe for them to take part in. But they also have to be careful, because scam mailings are possible. The U.S. Census Bureau offers this resource to help determine if a mailing is from them or its a scam. Remember, an invitation to take the Census online or by phone will be hitting mailboxes around March 12. Anything prior to that is most likely a scam. If the person doesn't complete the Census one of those two ways, a paper copy will be sent, followed by an enumerator at the door.

Important Census Dates to Remember:

March 12-20: Initial invitations to respond online and by phone will be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire along with the invitation to respond online or over the phone.

March 16-24: Reminder letters will be delivered.

March 26-April 3: Reminder postcards will be delivered to households that have not responded.

April 8-16: Reminder letters and paper questionnaires will be delivered to remaining households that have not responded.

April 20-27: Final reminder postcards will be delivered to households that have not yet responded before census takers follow up in person.

May 13-July 31: If a household does not respond to any of the invitations, a census taker will follow up in person.

Conference Registration Now Open!

The 2020 Childhood Conversations/Together We Will Conference registration is open and early bird registration is drawing to a close! The conference will focus on a one-day event this year, Friday, April 3, 2020. This year's conference will focus on exploring the landscape of equity and bias through the lens of social-emotional learning. The keynote will be nationally-known speaker, Dr. Rosemarie Allen, Associate Professor, School of Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Register today!

 

Support for the Alliance comes from of our members and our funders: Alliance for Early Success, Children's Fund of Connecticut, Connecticut Community Foundation, CT Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, a project of CT Council of Philanthropy; Community Foundation of Greater New Britain; Community Foundation for Greater New Haven; Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; and the Partnership for America's Children.