Weekly News - April 18, 2016

Budget Update

The bumpy budget ride continues. After the Appropriations Committee released their budget proposal, which covered a portion of the cuts needed to fill the deficit, the governor released a 2017 adjustment plan on April 12. Remember, this is still just a proposal. The legislature and governor will go back and forth before a final budget is passed.

Medicaid/HUSKY A Events Planned in State's Most Impacted Cities

The governor's most recent proposal includes significant cuts to the Medicaid program, (HUSKY A) impacting thousands of parents and children, along with dangerous cuts to the core Medicaid operating infrastructure. In-district, legislator-press events to fight these cuts to Medicaid are being planned in cities that have high percentages of Medicaid recipients. An event was held in Hartford on Tuesday, and events are being in New Britain on Thursday, April 21, at New Britain Community Health Center, 85 LaFayette Street, 9:30 a.m., and Friday, April 22, at two locations - Waterbury Stay Well Health Center, 80 Phoenix Avenue, Waterbury, 9:30 a.m. and Optimus Health Center, 982 East Main Street, Bridgeport,9:30 a.m. If you are a legislator, health care provider, advocate, faith leader, parent or childcare provider, you are encouraged to attend! 

Support Shown for Local Early Childhood Councils at State Capitol

LECC Advocacy Day 2016Last Wednesday, Local Early Childhood Councils gathered at the Legislative Office Building to bring awareness to the important work the LECCs do and focused on issues affecting local councils. A vibrant panel discussion was the highlight of the event, with several legislators (Senator Gayle Slossberg, Rep. Tim Ackert and Rep. Christine Randall), coordinators and parents talked about the role LECCs played in their everyday lives. LECCs in over 80 communities across Connecticut are the source in their cities and towns for early childhood coordination, outreach, programs and services for children and families. 

One Week Left to Advocacy Day 2016

Advocacy Day is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 310 of the Capitol Building. You will hear from advocates and legislators about the early childhood issues before the state legislature. Following the program in Room 310, we encourage people to meet with their legislators. Call your legislators NOW to make an appointment between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Advocacy Day. We are anticipating a full house, so we plan to have Room 1C available as an overflow room.

Early Childhood in the News

The CT Mirror tackles a concern of dentists and advocates regarding the ten percent cut to Medicaid payments for children's dental care. There is a big concern that the state will take a step back when it comes to children's oral health. 

Last week, our Merrill Gay was interviewed by Mark Sims of CT Radio Network regarding Week of the Young Child and Brad Davis for The Brad Davis Show. To listen to Merrill's CRN clips, click HERE and HERE. For the rundown on Brad's show, click HERE.  

On April 19, John Cattelan of the CT Alliance of YMCAs spoke to Mike Bellamy of WICC's "Coffee Break Chat" regarding House Bill 5303, which would prohibit or limit sweetened beverages in child care settings, prohibit children's access to certain electronic devices in child care settings, and increase children's participation in daily exercise. The interview can be heard HERE

Earlier in the month of April, which has been designated Child Abuse Prevention Month, DCF released a new child abuse prevention guide that focuses on very young children. Local media covered an event announcing the release of the guidelines, which will improve child assessments.  To watch the video clips, click HERE and HERE.

Reach Out and Read Connecticut and Community Health Center, Inc. were recently featured on The Lisa Saunders Show. To watch the clip via YouTube, click HERE

Diane Levine Event

Mark your calendars for the evening of May 4, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Diane Levine, Professor of Early Childhood at Wheelock College, author, and a leading expert on children's play, violence prevention and media literacy, will present "Endangered Play, Endangered Development: Why Play is Even More Important in the 21st Century." The program will take place at the Yale School of Management, 165 Whitney Avenue, in the Zhang Auditorium. The event is free. For more information, click HERE

Webinar Planned on Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health 

Please join ZERO TO THREE and Manatt Health for a webinar on Thursday, April 28, 1-2 p.m. (Eastern Time), on what states can and should be doing to advance infant and early childhood mental health.  The webinar will share key findings from a new policy brief, Planting Seeds in Fertile Ground: Steps Every Policymaker Should Take to Advance Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.Content is suitable for state mental health, Medicaid, public health and education officials, state infant mental health association leadership, child advocates, and legislative staff. To register, click HERE.  

For those unable to attend the live event, a recording of the webinar and supporting materials will be posted on the ZERO TO THREE website after the webinar. 

CT-AIMH 2016 Spring Meeting and Seminar 

On Thursday, April 21, the CT Association for Infant Mental Health (CT-AIMH) will host its spring meeting and seminar at Woodwinds in Branford, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Breakfast is included. The speaker for the event is Arietta Slade, PhD., Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center; Professor Emerita, Clinical Psychology, The City University of New York; and Co-director of "Minding the Baby." Her topic will be reflective functioning, reflective practice and the challenges of finding calm in the storm. To register, click HERE.  

Family Leave Webinar  

There have been exciting developments in Paid Leave legislation this year across the country. CLASP is hosting a webinar on Thursday, April 21 at 3 p.m. overviewing Family Leave in 2016 so far, and what can be expected ahead. Hear from U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand of New York, where paid family leave is expected to soon become law, as well as from other great speakers on the national and local level. It appears there will be several opportunities to participate in the webinar, if April 21 doesn't work for your schedule. The drop-down menu in the registration page gives a number of additional options.