Weekly News - October 3, 2016

CCDBG Regulations Released

The Administration for Families and Children recently released the CCDBG regulations. The regulations clarify the goals of the law, improve the health, safety and quality of child care; support the early childhood profession; and make child care assistance more accessible and stable for families. 

Some highlights of the final rule include the following requirements for states to:

  • Establish minimum twelve month eligibility periods (which leads to much-needed consistency for children, families and educators).
  • Establish a graduated phase-out of subsidies for families who, at eligibility redetermination, exceed initial State income thresholds but still have modest incomes. (This allows families to say yes to a small raise, without worrying that accepting the increase would result in losing their child care because of it).
  • Describe policies to prevent suspension and expulsion of children birth to age 5 in child care and other early childhood programs.
  • Improve important provider payment practices, including: base payments to providers on child attendance rather than enrollment; take the cost of providing quality child care into account when setting provider subsidy payment rates; show how base payment rates enable providers to meet health, safety, quality, and staffing requirements; and use valid methodologies to update rates at least every three years.

Middlesex Coalition to Host Candidate Forum 

On Thursday, October 13, from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., the Middlesex Coalition for Children will host a candidate forum. This is a chance to hear from many of the candidates running for State Senate and State Representative to represent parts of Middlesex County.  Each candidate will have a chance to speak, have time for a Question & Answer session and wrap up with open 'meet & greet' time at the end. Confirmed candidates include: Dante Bartolomeo, ​Paul Doyle (for part), Ted Kennedy, Matt Lesser, Art Linares, Anthony Moran, Earl Roberts, Joe Serra, Len Suzio, and Linda Szynkowicz. More candidates are expected to be confirmed participants before October 13. Vincent Candelora, Noreen Kokoruda, Len Fasano, Devin Carney, Melissa Ziobron, and Emil "Buddy" Altobello are all running unopposed this election year, so it is unnecessary for them to attend the event. 

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Weekly News - September 19, 2016

Alliance Honoring 29 Children's Champions 

Rep. Kelly Luxenberg, Legislator of the YearWe've certainly been busy over the past two weeks! Alliance staff has been crossing the state to honor 29 legislators as Children's Champions. Every year, the Alliance recognizes legislators for their leadership on issues that impact the well-being of Connecticut’s young children in the areas of healthy development, early care and education, nutrition, and safety. Although the budget took center stage this past session, there was some important legislation introduced. Among the items passed this year: Repeal of the sales tax on diapers, which was included in the budget implementer and is set to take effect July 1, 2018; and House Bill 5466, which requires background checks and notice of convictions for any household member in a family child care home or group child care home. Important issues raised included paid family and medical leave, childhood obesity prevention, increased access to early childhood programs for homeless children, and recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce. 

Our "Legislator of the Year," Rep. Kelly Luxenberg, was honored at The Diaper Bank's "Rock Your Baby" event on September 15, at Amarante's Sea Cliff in New Haven. To see the photos of our honorees thus far, click HERE to see the album on our Facebook page. You don't have to have an account to see our pictures. 

This year's honorees are:

Legislator of the Year: Rep. Kelly Luxenberg 

Representatives: Cathy Abercrombie (D), Tim Ackert (R), Juan Candelaria (D), Michelle Cook (D), Jeff Currey (D), Andrew Fleischmann (D), Noreen Kokoruda (R), Gail Lavielle (R), Matt Lesser (D), Kelly Luxenberg (D), Patricia Billie Miller (D), Gayle Mulligan (R), Robyn Porter (D) Christine Randall (D), Bobby Sanchez (D), Diana Urban (D), Toni Walker (D).

Senators: Dante Bartolomeo (D), Toni Boucher (R), Beth Bye (D), Len Fasano (R), Mae Flexer (D), Terry Gerratana (D) Ed Gomes (D), Art Linares (R), Martin Looney (D), Marilyn Moore (D), Gail Slossberg (D), Gary Winfield (D).    

Early Childhood Education Positions of the Presidential Candidates

Over the last few weeks, early childhood education has become a topic for both major party candidates for president and was widely covered in the media. Are you wondering where your candidate of choice stands on the issue? You can find their position statements here, as well as a report from the Ms. Foundation:
Hillary Clinton 
Donald Trump
Ms. Foundation Report

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Weekly News - September 6, 2016

Care4Kids Meetings Scheduled Across State

In order to understand changes made to Connecticut's Care4Kids program through the re-authorized federal CCDBG (Child Care Development Block Grant), a number of resources are being made available to parents and providers - one of which is meetings in several towns across the state. The meetings will be held September 14 in Hampton, September 19 in Danbury, October 6 in Torrington, October 13 in New Haven, October 15 in Middletown and October 20 in New London. Seating is limited and reservations are needed. To register, click HERE. In the "options" section, click the drop-down menu to find "Care4Kids Information Sessions." Click "book" to register for the meeting of your choice. 

Other resources available include the Care4Kids website, information flyers in both Spanish and English (also found on the website) and this week, a recorded Powerpoint presentation highlighting the important changes.

Alliance Honoring 29 Children's Champions 

Rep. Michelle Cook - Children's Champion 2016The CT Early Childhood Alliance is honoring 29 legislators as Children's Champions. Every year, the Alliance recognizes legislators for their leadership on issues that impact the well-being of Connecticut’s young children in the areas of healthy development, early care and education, nutrition, and safety. While much of the session was focused on filling holes in the budget, there was some important legislation introduced. Among the items passed this year: Repeal of the sales tax on diapers, which was included in the budget implementer and is set to take effect July 1, 2018; and House Bill 5466, which requires background checks and notice of convictions for any household member in a family child care home or group child care home. Important issues raised included paid family and medical leave, childhood obesity prevention, increased access to early childhood programs for homeless children, and recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce. 

This year's honorees are:

Legislator of the Year: Rep. Kelly Luxenberg

Representatives: Cathy Abercrombie (D), Tim Ackert (R), Juan Candelaria (D), Michelle Cook (D), Jeff Currey (D), Andrew Fleischmann (D), Noreen Kokoruda (R), Gail Lavielle (R), Matt Lesser (D), Kelly Luxenberg (D), Patricia Billie Miller (D), Gayle Mulligan (R), Robyn Porter (D) Christine Randall (D), Bobby Sanchez (D), Diana Urban (D), Toni Walker (D).

Senators: Dante Bartolomeo (D), Toni Boucher (R), Beth Bye (D), Len Fasano (R), Mae Flexer (D), Terry Gerratana (D) Ed Gomes (D), Art Linares (R), Martin Looney (D), Marilyn Moore (D), Gail Slossberg (D), Gary Winfield (D).    

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