To reach the Alliance Staff, please call us at 860.819.3647 or email us at email addresses listed below.  We look forward to hearing from you.


Merrill Gay, Executive Director, CT Early Childhood Alliance

Prior to joining the Alliance in 2013, Merrill was Executive Director of the Coalition for New Britain’s Children. He has served on a number of early childhood initiatives, including the New Britain School Readiness Council, New Britain Head Start Policy Council, Early Childhood Finance Project Work Group, Early Childhood Workforce Task Force, and Infant Toddler Task Force. He was also co-chair of the CT Early Childhood Alliance and the New Britain lead for the Annie E. Casey Grade-Level Reading Campaign. Merrill holds a B.A. in government studies from Clark University and a master’s degree in community economic development from New Hampshire College, now known as the University of Southern New Hampshire. Email Merrill at [email protected].



Vanessa's career progression has been shaped by her lived experiences and passion for service to others. In 2015, she became a mom and experienced firsthand the lack of readily-available information and support for new and expecting parents. This led her to train as a childbirth educator and birth doula, and eventually to owning and running her own business. Helping expecting parents understand their patients’ rights and options for pregnancy and birth opened the door to the world of advocacy. She is a former support group leader and peer mentor with Postpartum Support International, mom of two, a co-leader of her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, and has recently gone back to school to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Her guiding principle in her work with the Alliance can be summed up by a quote from Glennon Doyle, “There is no such thing as other people’s children.”