Weekly News - April 22, 2019

SAVE THE DATE: Advocacy Day Scheduled for May 23

Please Save the Date and plan to join the Alliance, along with our partnering organization of the CT After School Network, for the 2019 Advocacy Day! It's Thursday, May 23, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., in Room 310 of the State Capitol. More details will come as we move closer to the date - as we know which bills remain alive and what is happening with the state budget. But we've love to fill the room and welcome you to register to attend. (Please wear yellow - it's been our unity color all session!) To RSVP, click HERE.

Legislative Update

There are two weeks left until JF deadlines for the Appropriations & Finance committees. Our best defense is good offense; pushing for an increase in Care4Kids funding (SB 934) to allow student parents to access the program while they’re in school. Call your legislators and ask them to talk to the  Appropriations chairs about the need to increase Care4Kids funding. You can talk about the economic growth and workforce argument. Did you know that Connecticut is only one of three states (CT, Rhode Island and Delaware) that don't allow parents to use Care4Kids while they attend school or job training? (Only exception is TANF recipients). In an economy where thousands of jobs are unfilled because employers can't find applicants with the needed skills, preventing parents from getting those skills doesn't make sense. Ask your legislators to support SB 934, ask them to co-sponsor the bill, and talk to Appropriations members about it, if you have contacts on the Appropriations Committee.

Here are a few other bills to update you on:

  • SB 932 just came out of the Senate, no fiscal note, will go to the House. Will push back the deadlines by which EC educators in subsidized programs must have BA.
  • SB 937 on ECE loan forgiveness hasn’t moved since being referred to Approps.
  • All Our Kin: HB 6291 was voted out of Planning and Development, but it looks unlikely to get any further in its current form. A compromise is being worked on. This bill would essentially provide stronger protections for family and group home childcare (zoning, landlords).
  • SB 930: Has been on the Senate Calendar since 4/2/19. It would allow four pilots to use center-style incubators to get home providers up and running in a few select communities
  • SB 931, 933, 934: The CareKids bills will all cost money, so we need to push hard on increasing funding, both as an offensive and likely defensive move to ensure no cuts to the program.

When legislators are in session, it’s a great time to try to contact them, either to increase Care4Kids or to get them to talk to their colleagues on Approps about protecting the program in the budget. 
You may also consider writing a letter to the editor of your local papers about the general childcare crisis, the economic/workforce arguments, and/or the need to support families when they’re dealing with the high-needs early period infancy/toddler years. 

DESPP Offering Saturday Fingerprint Collection for Child Care Providers

From the OEC: The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) is piloting a Saturday fingerprint collection program. There are four dates coming up - April 27, May 4, May 11, and May 18. It will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1111 Country Club Road, Middletown, CT. After those four dates are complete, DESPP will evaluate whether or not to continue offering Saturday collection dates.

Child care providers, staff members, volunteers, and household members who need to submit fingerprints for an OEC background check can take advantage of this option for Saturday fingerprinting. The OEC will also be announcing additional options for fingerprinting soon.

Background Check Update

The Office of Early Childhood will be offering a series of updates for child care providers regarding the upcoming background check requirements that need to be met by September 30, 2019. This flier from the OEC offers more information for providers on who needs the background checks, etc.

NIEER Releases "State of Preschool" Around the Country

The newest National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) "State of Preschool" report shows a decline in Connecticut - less per-child spending and state spending and a small decline in enrollment. But there was also an improvement in quality standards - Connecticut met half of the quality standards benchmarks. To read the press release, click HERE. To see the Connecticut portion of the report, click HERE.

Aspen Institute Releases Parents in College Fact Sheet

Ascend The Aspen Institute has released a new fact sheet on parents of young children attending college. Among the findings on the fact sheets: More than one in five college students - or 22% of all undergraduates - are parents. Of the approximately 3.8 million students raising children while in college, a majority of them are moms (70%) and 30% are dads. Between 2011-2012 and 2015-2016 academic years, the share of students who are parents declined by 15%. Most parents who are students are enrolled in community colleges around the country (42%), followed by private, for-profit schools (18%) and public four-year institutions (17%). To read the full fact sheet, click HERE

Ascend works through a two-generational lens, focusing on children and adults in their lives together, as well as using a gender and racial equity lens in their analysis. 

Screening to Succeed Call to Action Meetings Held This Month

On Behalf of the UConn Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and Connecticut Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (CT LEND), CT Office of Early Childhood, Healthy From Day One, CT Department of Public Health, Wheeler Clinic, Help Me Grow, 2-1-1 Child Development Infoline, and local partners.

You're invited to join “Screening to Succeed” A Regional Call to Action meetings. Each Regional Meeting will focus on the individualized resources and needs of their communities to ensure the success of all young children through promotion, developmental awareness and the power of community connections. Participants will be equipped with knowledge, resources and tools to increase developmental screenings using Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) and have an opportunity to hear a presentation on a City-wide system developed by community partners and families in Norwalk.

Please see the informational flier with dates and times in each region of Connecticut. There is a registration link on the flier. 

Dates for Regional Meetings:

• Eastern Regional Meeting - Friday, April 26th from 9 am - noon at the United Community and Family Services located in Norwich at 47 Town Street (Breakfast will be served at 8:30am)

• North Central Regional Meeting – Tuesday, April 30 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Early Childhood Learning Center at Hockanum Elementary School located 191 Main St, East Hartford (Lunch is provided)

• Southwest Regional Meeting: - Monday, May 20th from 9:00am – 1:00pm at the Margaret E Morton Government Center located at 999 Broad Street, Bridgeport in Conference rooms A&B, 1ST FLOOR. (Lunch is provided)

To register for any of the above regional meetings please click HERE.

We Moved!

The week of April 15, the Alliance and CAHS were on the move - LITERALLY! We have relocated back to our previous building on Bartholomew (same building, different suite from last time). We are now at 110 Bartholomew Avenue, on the opposite corner of our former location on Hamilton Street. We currently do not have landline phones installed, so if you need to contact any of the Alliance staff, please email or call the Skype line at 860-819-3647. If you're coming to see any of the staff, please email and let us know when you will be arriving, so we can get you into the office - there is a buzzer system that is not currently set up.

Our official address now is 110 Bartholomew Avenue, Suite 4020, Hartford, CT 06106. It is known as the Parkville Business Center.

Alliance Participating in 2019 The Great Give

For 36 hours starting May 1, the CT Early Childhood Alliance will be participating in The Great Give through the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. Watch your emails for ways you can support the Alliance through this giving event!

Support for the Alliance comes from of our members and our funders: Connecticut Community Foundation, CT Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, a project of CT Council of Philanthropy; Community Foundation of Greater New Britain; Community Foundation for Greater New Haven; and the Partnership for America's Children.