Weekly News - October 30, 2017

Promoting Dental Health on the Radio and in the Classroom

Sleeping Giant Dental VisitDid you know October was Dental Hygiene Month? We're reporting on two oral health items that might be of interest to you. 

In October, the radio interview on WICC 600 in Bridgeport featured Mary Boudreau of CT Oral Health Initiative (COHI), discussing dental hygiene month, what a dental hygienist is, National Brush Day (it's November 1), and more. To listen to the full interview, click HERE.

Many early childhood programs take time as part of their curriculum to focus on oral health education. On October 27, the three- and four-year- olds at Sleeping Giant Day Care in Hamden had two visitors and one stuffed kangaroo. 

Two dentists from Yale Dental School, Dr. Judy and Dr. Lauren, talked to the children about brushing their teeth, what kinds of foods are good and bad for their teeth, and how to floss their teeth. They made their lessons into games. One game, the children were given a piece of plastic food, and they had to put the food in the box that would be considered "good" or "bad" for their teeth. The kangaroo toy had teeth that the children could practice brushing. They also tried on surgical masks and gloves that dentists and dental hygienists wear.

"How many times a day do we brush?" asked Dr. Judy. 

"Two times a day," said the children.

"We brush our teeth, tongue and gums," said Dr. Judy.

The Yale dentists visit once a year, said Edie Reichard, Director of Sleeping Giant Day Care in Hamden. 

"I don't think they've missed a year," she said.

The visits provide training for the dental school and helps the child care center meet NAEYC and state requirements. The visit also kicks off a unit the center is starting on dental hygiene. Reichard said they do try to plan these visits around Halloween.

CT Early Childhood Cabinet Meeting Scheduled for December 15

Please mark your calendars for Friday, December 15, 2017. The CT Early Childhood Cabinet will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Legislative Office Building (room to be determined). 

NWLC Releases "Persistent Gaps: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2017"

On Tuesday, the National Women's Law Center released a report, "Persistent Gaps: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2017." The report examines the subsidy programs that help low-income families pay for child care in each state and reveals the insufficient and uneven progress on policies across the country. It reviews income eligibility requirements, waiting lists, parent co-payment levels, provider payment rates and eligibility policies for parents searching for work. Twenty states, including Connecticut, have waiting lists currently in place for child care assistance. These states also include neighboring Massachusetts and New York. 

In keeping with the NWLC, All Our Kin's Jessica Sager penned a blog post on Friday, discussing Connecticut's "cautionary tale." Connecticut was one of the first states to adopt the new federal regulations, and is already seeing the impact of inadequate funding on our early childhood ecosystem. Sager says most states will face the same harsh realities by 2018. To read the blog post, click HERE. 

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   

Jessica Ciparelli, CT Early Childhood Alliance