Care4Kids Resources Now Available
Merrill Gay, the Executive Director at the CT Early Childhood Alliance, put together a spreadsheet of town-by-town data on Care4Kids, comparing January
2016 to January 2017. It shows that 1,768 fewer children were served in 2017. That breaks down to 744 infants, 499 preschoolers, and 525 school-age children. The impact on providers varies by age: Infants - Impact pretty evenly split between centers and home based care mostly in unregulated settings,
Preschoolers - Overwhelmingly centers impacted, School Age - Mostly unregulated family members impacted
CT Voices for Children, with assistance from CT Early Childhood Alliance and CT Parent Power, released a Care4Kids brief about the importance of Care4Kids, enrollment trends, stories from providers and parents, and some solutions for funding it. CT Voices welcomes you to use the data in your advocacy efforts.
CT Association for Human Services (CAHS) has created an interactive map and a companion blog post (map can be seen through the blog post as well) that show how each town in CT is impacted by the closure of the Care4Kids program.
Finally, if you click the screenshot from the Hartford Courant article, it will take you to an article that ran in a column April 1 paper. The column focuses on cost of child care and why Care4Kids is so important to families.
Child Care Call-In Day
This Thursday, call your member of Congress at:
Tell them to urge the Appropriations Chairman to increase funding for the Childcare & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) by $1.4 billion so that states can implement the improvements required by the reauthorization without cutting children off the childcare subsidy. After you've done that, contact them through Facebook using the new Town Hall feature (this can be found under the "Explore" heading on a desktop or mobile app version of Facebook).
Without this additional $1.4 billion, states will not be able to implement the important reforms contained in the CCDBG Act of 2014 while maintaining the current number of children served. There has already been a significant decline in the number of children served, with 373,000 fewer children receiving child care assistance in 2015 than in 2006. As of February 2016, only one state was paying providers at the federally recommended rate. Given the pressing need for greater child care investments, and the growing attention on child care as an issue, now is the time to make a special effort around child care funding. A call-in script is available HERE.
Governor's Budget Plan Released
Governor Malloy released his biennium budget Wednesday. While budget analysts are thoroughly reviewing it, we can share what we've discovered so far. This is a bad budget for early childhood. Here's what we know:
The following are completely eliminated:
- The budget keeps Care4kids closed for the next 2 years. This would keep Care4Kids closed to all but current TANF families for the next two years. The impact of these cuts will be that as children age out, Care4Kids will largely cease to pay for early childhood services and become bascially a school age program. This will have serious implications for the economic viability of many early care programs, threatening care for many more children.
- It cuts $7.7 million from the Early Care & Education line item in FY18. That translates to approximately 1,100 children who won't get infant/ toddler, preschool or after school care next year.
- Head Start is cut $384,000
- Child Care Quality Enhancement is combined with School Readiness QE and reduced by $212,000 (It is unclear what this means for local QE)
- Birth to 3 would move to DSS
- Community Plans for Early Childhood
- Improving Early Literacy
- Healthy Start
- Help Me Grow
The CT Early Childhood Alliance is very concerned about a number of proposed bills that would dismember, or otherwise weaken, the CT Office of Early Childhood. Additionally, bills have been introduced that would impact Care4Kids funding, teacher credentials, and paid family leave. We will continue to monitor developments and keep you informed.Read more
The legislature is in full swing. There are many bills being introduced. Among the notable is H.B. 6394, "AN ACT ESTABLISHING A REFUNDABLE CREDIT AGAINST THE PERSONAL INCOME TAX FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHERS," to address the shortage of qualified early childhood teachers by establishing a refundable tax credit for individuals who receive degrees in early childhood or a related field and teach in an early childhood program. A full list of bills the Alliance is actively watching is available HERE. Keep in mind as you read through the bills that not all bills make it out of committee for consideration and if there is very little language available on a certain bill, it could be a placeholder. We will alert you when public hearings are coming up so that you can draft testimony.
CT Voices for Children Budget Forum Recap
If you were unable to attend the CT Voices Budget Forum, the broadcast is available on-demand at CT-N. It included insightful panel discussions, a keynote from Governor Malloy and potential models to follow to get the state out of financial distress.Read more
The session started two weeks ago, and a number of bills have been introduced, including several family- and child-related bills. They include:
S.B. No. 1 - "An Act Creating a Paid Family and Medical Leave System in the State," introduced by Sen. Looney
H.B. No. 5196 - "An Act Delaying the Bachelor's Degree Requirement for Educators at Certain Early Childhood Education Programs," introduced by Rep. Sanchez
H.B. No. 5197 - "An Act Requiring the Office of Early Childhood to Develop a Proposed Early Childhood Educator Compensation Schedule," introduced by Rep. Sanchez.
A longer list of bills has been added to the Alliance website, and they will be reviewed shortly by staff.
Early Childhood Cabinet Meeting Planned
The Early Childhood Cabinet will meet on Friday, January 20, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Old Judiciary Room at the State Capitol.Read more
Legislative Session Begins
It's January, it's 2017...it's time to start a new legislative session. It will be different this year. Democrats and Republicans are tied in the Senate with Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman able to cast a deciding vote. In the House, Democrats hold a slim majority (78-72). There will be three special elections to replace Senators Rob Kane and Eric Coleman, as well as Rep. Stephen Dargen, who all resigned to accept appointments to other positions. The evenly-split Senate led to a new power-sharing agreement last week. The Appropriations Committee appears to have its leadership set, with two Senate chairs and one House chair. To read more about it in the CT Mirror, click HERE. The budget will play a big role this year, as the governor proposes a new, two-year budget. Like last year, the state is facing a deficit (approximately $1.5 billion) and additional cuts to programs and services are likely. The Alliance website has an updated legislator list and the 2017 policy priorities.Read more
Care4Kids Forum Wrap-Up
Thank you to everyone who came out to the Legislative Office Building (or who watched the broadcast on CT-N) for a very comprehensive look at the economic impact child care and the Care4Kids program has on the state of Connecticut. Thank you to the very knowledgeable speakers and our collaborative partners, including the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors, who co-hosted the event with the Alliance. The forum drew a number of legislators from both sides of the aisle and brought up a number of questions and thoughtful responses. If you couldn't attend or watch the forum live on CT-N, it's available On-Demand. The media also covered the forum, including CT Newsjunkie and WTNH Channel 8. Around the same time of the forum, Stateline released a very comprehensive look at child care subsidies across the country and The Middletown Press did a follow-up. We will continue to keep you aware of the issues surrounding Care4Kids, action steps to take, hearings at the Capitol as the session starts, and more. Watch for our weekly updates for more information. (Photo credit: CRT.)
Child Care Aware of America Releases Cost of Care Report
For the 10th year now, Child Care Aware of America's annual report reveals a trend in the lack of access to quality, affordable child care. The latest report finds that child care is too expensive for today’s families, costing more than one year of college tuition, housing, transportation, or food. This leaves families unable to afford child care in 49 out of 50 states across the country.
On Tuesday, December 13, at 3 p.m., Child Care Aware will hold a webinar to further discuss the newly-released report. To register, click HERE.
What Do President-Elect Trump's Nominee Choices Mean for Early Education?
New America takes a closer look at the two nominees President-Elect Trump has put forth for the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, and Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price.
The Economic Impact of Child Care and the Care4Kids Program: 12/7 Forum
On Wednesday, December 7, the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors, in collaboration with the CT Early Childhood Alliance, will host a forum on child care and the Care4Kids program, specifically focusing on the economic impact both have on this state. We anticipate an interesting discussion to evolve and welcome your attendance. Legislators have been invited to attend, so they can hear first-hand how changes to these programs and services can disrupt an already fragile system. The forum will take place in Room 2B of the Legislative Office Building from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. To RSVP, click HERE. NOTE: CT-N anticipates a high volume of events tomorrow and does not expect to cover the event. We will attempt Facebook Live for those who are on Facebook and attempt to record for interested parties to watch later.Read more
We Need Your Help!
We fear that as early as mid-November, Care4Kids could announce a complete closure of Priority Group 4. This means all families coming up for redetermination 30 days after the notice is posted will be cut off from C4K. Our only chance to stop this is to put enough pressure on elected officials to find money to fund the program. Critical to creating that pressure is finding parents willing to tell their story to the press. If you have a C4K voucher that's coming up for redetermination or you know of families reaching their redetermination date who would be willing to share their story, please contact Jessica Ciparelli at [email protected]. If you haven’t already, please sign the petition, then share the video and petition link with your networks.
Webinar: Why Early Learning is a Bipartisan Issue
Save the Children Action Network and Child Care Works will host a webinar on Wednesday, November 2, at 1 p.m. Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) believe that every child deserves the best start in life. They are building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning. The webinar will focus on the importance of early childhood education and the broad, bipartisan support that this issue receives. To register, click HERE.Read more