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On July 1st 2023 Connecticut became the first state in the country to implement Baby Bonds. As of midnight, every baby born in the state on HUSKY, Connecticut's Medicaid program, will have $3,200 deposited into an account at the state Treasurer's office. That will grow to an estimated $11,000 by the time they are 18 and as much as $24,000 if wait until age 30. Those funds can be used to: pay for college or job training, buy a house, start or invest in a business, or for retirement.
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In a survey conducted in May of 2023 programs report continued staffing problems and reduced ability to serve families seeking care. The survey of 227 Center based programs was the third over the past 15 months conducted by the Connecticut Association for Human Services and the Alliance. Key Findings HERE
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July 20th Updates
ACTION NEEDED: Call Your U.S. Senators and U.S. Rep to Support $50 Billion Child Care Fund
Down in Washington, DC, leaders are negotiating the next COVID-19 Relief Package. Child care MUST be included in that relief package, or child care programs across the country will be faced with the very real possibility of shuttering for good. The child care industry is a pillar of the American economy. Without it, parents wouldn't be able to work. They need access to stable and safe child care.
Last Thursday, the CT Early Childhood Alliance, CT Association for Human Services, and CSEA-SEIU, hosted a virtual press conference, discussing the current child care crisis. Several providers, both center-based and home-based, spoke to their current situations. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Rosa DeLauro also attended the virtual presser and spoke to attendees. If you would like to watch the full press conference, it can be found on YouTube, by clicking the graphic below. (Or click this YouTube link). Media coverage included WTNH, CT NewsJunkie and WNPR.
On Wednesday, July 22, Merrill Gay of the CT Early Childhood Alliance and Liz Fraser of CT Association for Human Services penned an op-ed for the CT Mirror/CT Viewpoints. You can read it HERE. Then follow the action steps below.
MAKE THREE CALLS TODAY:
What to say: Thank them for co-sponsoring the $50 billion Child Care is Essential Act and ask them to please speak to leadership about putting the $50 billion into the COVID Relief Package.
Senator Blumenthal - 202-224-2823
Senator Murphy - 202-224-4041
Your U.S. Rep
Larson - 202-225-2265
Courtney - 202-225-2076
DeLauro - 202-225-3661
Himes - 202-225-5541
Hayes - 202-225-4476
If you're unsure of who your representative is, click HERE.
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July 6th Updates
Not Eligible for Medicaid and Struggling to Pay For Care? Share Your Story
The CT Early Childhood Alliance received a grant from the Connecticut Health Foundation to gather stories to help shine a light on the importance of Medicaid expansion. A modest increase allowed for approximately 4,000 additional parents to obtain it, but we know there is more need. Are you - or someone you know - not eligible for Medicaid, and struggling to pay healthcare costs through the Exchange, even with subsidies? Would you or someone you know be willing to share those stories? Please reach out to Jessica at [email protected] so we can begin the process.
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May 27th Updates
We know the situation surrounding COVID-19 is fluid and moving quickly. We know the state is in the process of starting phased-in re-opening. Today, we're checking in with a few updates.
DeLauro, Hayes Introduce Emergency Funding Bill
Today, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes and several co-sponsors introduced a $50 billion emergency appropriation bill for child care. The funding would help keep the child care system whole through the end of the year.
As CLASP reported in late April, child care is key to the country's economic recovery. The organization estimates the child care industry will need $9.6 billion each month to fully-fund existing providers, to retain and pay staff, prepare to re-open, and offer safe, comprehensive emergency care at no cost to 6 million children of essential workers. The report can be found HERE.
CT Early Childhood Alliance, CT Association for Human Services (CAHS), Middlesex Coalition for Children and CSEA-SEIU are hosting three times a week Zoom calls Monday & Wednesday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. (the evening call is more focused on family child care). The Zoom registration link is https://zoom.us/s/97259552075
We're hearing some disturbing news out of DC. It seems that there may not be enough money in the COVID-19 4th package to support childcare as the country "reopens."
Call or email your Congressional Representative.....Even if you already did last week! Please make sure you thank those such as Rosa DeLauro and Johanna Hayes for all they are doing, but make sure you follow with the message that without funding our industry will be decimated! There is language below, a script that you can follow. Don't feel you need to read as written. Just use parts of it in your own words, or simply tell your story. Make sure you tell them you are from their district!
Rep. John Larson (1st District, CT) CT Office Contact: Lisa Perrone – [email protected] 202-225-2265
Rep. Joe Courtney (2nd District, CT) CT Office Contact: Emma King – [email protected] 202-225-2076
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (3rd District, CT) CT Office Contact -
Leticia Mederos [email protected] 202-225-3661
Rep. Johana Hayes (5th District, CT) CT Office Contact:Madeline Daly, [email protected] 202-225-4476
Use this as a script or as a base for a script when you contact your MOC:
Right now, we’re hearing that the funding our child care system needs will be left out of the next COVID-19 relief legislation YET AGAIN.
Women are at the center of this crisis now - they are 93% of child care workers, losing income or their jobs entirely or serving as a key part of our public health infrastructure. Women are the providers trying to make ends meet as small business owners without revenue coming in; and mothers are serving on the front lines of this crisis in low-paid jobs and taking on the bulk of caregiving at home.
Recent analysis from NWLC and other partners shows that at least $9.6 billion each month is needed just to keep our system afloat. But so far, Congress has only allocated $3.5 billion in total to the entire child care sector.
If Congress doesn’t act, we may not have a child care system to return to - and women, especially women of color, will suffer the most as a result. Without child care, women will be the ones who have to take on caregiving and are unable to return to work or school. Hundreds of thousands of women- and minority-owned businesses will close their doors. And women who are child care workers will lose their jobs and income.
Join us in calling for Congress to include at least $50 billion in funding dedicated to child care in the next COVID-19 legislative package.
Your phone call to your representative will take just a minute, but it could help save the work and industry that makes our entire country run. Please call now.
Take action link: https://on.nwlc.org/3cpEChT
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April 20th Updates
We're checking in with a few updates, as we continue with the COVID-19 quarantine.
Federal Update from Liz Fraser (CAHS)
Payroll Protection Plan or PPP as of April 16, has run out of money. We are not sure what this means for those who have applied but have not yet been approved, or for those who have been approved but have not received funding.
Meanwhile, Congress is working to put another $250 billion dollars into this program. However, there has been a hold up. Democrats are trying to make sure that small and micro businesses can access and benefit from the PPP by insuring a portion of the money is designated for the small businesses that were not able to access the first round of funding.
BUT there are many others who want the same rules and program as before, without these modifications.
While it is difficult, we must make sure that they pass a fair bill. It will not do us any good to have it pass quickly if you all can’t access the funding.
Please know our CT delegation is really trying to do the right thing!
WE NEED YOUR HELP - You can send a letter to your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative. The letter template can be downloaded HERE. Please personalize the letter, then copy and paste it into the “Contact me” form on the websites of Senators Murphy and Blumenthal and your Member of Congress’s website. You can look up your Representatives HERE.
- Tuesday 4-21-20 12 noon
CWEALF is hosting a Zoom event with Congresswoman DeLauro on women's economic security & COVID-19 on Tuesday, 4/21 at noon.
Registration here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_U03RrGB-T92OokMjgIfXoQ. They plan on specifically discussing PFML, paid sick leave, and UI provisions in the new federal laws, as well as what is still needed in the 4th relief package.
If you have questions you can write them in the registration form or let Liz know and she will get them to CWEALF
- Wednesday 4-22-20 9:30am Zoom Call -Woman’s Business Development Center WBDC link
They can help you with your business planning including: what loans are available, how to apply, where are other resources. Bring your questions.
HEDCO loan questions are welcome! What is HEDCO? These are up to $10,000 lines of credit that can be forgiven. This can help in the short term waiting for PPP funds. Check out the link
CT Cares for Kids
- If you are taking care of essential workers kids, you can receive extra compensation for employees.
- Module for reporting information is live!Try out the portal and see what you will need for weekly reports.
- If you have not done so already, and have first responder children attending your program, call 211 to update your status as open.
- CT Cares for Kids link
Unemployment - DOL expects to have their online system to accept applications from self-employed people (family childcare) on Thursday, April 30th. DOL asks that self-employed people not apply until then. Self- employed people can claim full or partial unemployment and still receive the $600 per week federal supplement. Self-employed people will be able to claim retroactively to the date that they lost income.
Supplies - OEC has received a shipment of cleaning supplies that are being distributed regionally for child care programs that are open and serving children can pick up by appointment. Providers who have notified OEC that they are open should have gotten a message about this. If you are open but haven't heard from OEC about supplies, contact 211.
Contact Your Members of Congress NOW!
(From First Five Years Fund) We need your help to ensure the child care industry receives the crucial support it needs to survive the mounting economic crisis.
Across the country, businesses and families are grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Congress considers a far-reaching economic stimulus package in response to this crisis, click here to contact your lawmakers in Washington and urge them to include robust support for the industry that makes it possible for millions of working parents to go to work each day: child care.
The nation is facing months of uncertainty and the potential for extended business closures due to the growing crisis. The strain being placed on our child care providers, who are already operating on razor thin margins, could force many out them of business permanently.
At the same time, as businesses and schools are being told to close their doors to limit the spread of this deadly coronavirus, countless workers on the front lines of battling this pandemic are still relying on child care to be able to show up to work and keep our country running.
Congress needs to hear from as many people as possible that the child care industry requires substantial assistance in the upcoming economic recovery package.
Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates & Information
We are in unprecedented and uncertain times. The Alliance will share information as it becomes available from the CDC, Office of Early Childhood, and Governor Lamont's Office. Information is moving fast - we will keep the memos concise and offer as many resources as we have at our disposal.
The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) has been issuing memos (memos can be found HERE) since March 12 regarding the fast-moving situation. Child care centers are not being told to close at this time. Two new memos have been released from the OEC - Memo 6 and a memo regarding Birth to Three and Home Visiting.
One of Governor Lamont's Executive Orders waives certain licensing and other requirements to maintain and increase availability of child care. The OEC has issued a new memo (Memo 7) to describe these waivers further.
Here is a Survey Monkey LINK from 2-1-1 Child Care to track child care opening/closure status during COVID-19.
There is also a link available to a NAEYC survey regarding child care challenges, including financial hardships programs may be facing. This survey is gathering information to share with Congress, the media, and state policymakers.
Tonight (3/16) at 6:45 p.m., CSEA-SEIU and All Our Kin will be hosting a phone call primarily for family child care providers in regards to Care4Kids payments, but OEC Commissioner Beth Bye will join for a Q&A. The call is at 6:45 p.m. and YOU will receive a call at that time to join the call. The link to register is HERE.
Finally, the White House is now recommending that people avoid gathering in groups of more than ten people.
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