Weekly News August 12, 2019

3.1 Million People Could Lose SNAP

Last week, the Trump administration published a new proposed rule targeting women, children, and families in need. This time the administration wants to bypass Congress and cut billions from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by restricting broad-based categorical eligibility, a flexibility the majority of states use to extend SNAP to working families with incomes just over the income eligibility cut-off, who often have significant expenses like child care and housing. This threatens SNAP benefits for over 3 million people. It also jeopardizes access to free school meals for hundreds of thousands of children.  

You can submit comments to the government's Regulations page. There are currently 1,000 public comments. Let's add to it and make our voices heard. Here is a comment template that you can customize. The deadline to submit comments is Monday, September 23. According to The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Connecticut is one of 40 states that uses broad-based categorical eligibility. 

Further resources can be found HERE.                 

Care4Kids Processing Delays Continue to Plague the System

Care4Kids is currently processing new applications from the last week of April.  The delays were originally caused by a computer upgrade and exacerbated by a tidal wave of re-determinations at the anniversary of the program reopening after 15 months of closure.  Despite a doubling of Care4Kids processing staff and extensions of certificates, the delays persist.  Child Care programs that in the past might have let parents pay the anticipated parent fee while their application was pending, are increasingly requiring parents to pay full tuition until the certificate is granted.  Too many programs have had to write off bad debt from families owed thousands when an application was eventually denied months after it was submitted.  Do you know a family who has chosen not to enroll because they couldn't afford tuition until their Care4kids was approved? Please put them in touch with the Alliance at 860-819-3647.

Enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP Slips Again

According to Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, as of March 2019, Medicaid and CHIP overall child enrollment is down 41,000. Connecticut is not noted in the declines, but our neighbors to the north in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont are listed. More data on this trend can be found HERE

Early Childhood Immigration and Trauma

Thank you to our friends at PEER (Partnership for Early Education Research) for sharing this resource page on immigration and trauma. (via BUILD Initiative)

Recent changes in immigration policy are presenting new and intense challenges to infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families, and the teachers and programs that work with them. With funding from the Irving Harris Foundation, the BUILD Initiative has partnered with the Center for Law and Social Policy to organize a series of webinars and blogs for providers, state policy leaders, and advocates. The link can be found HERE.