Weekly News - February 5, 2018

Care4Kids is Open for Business and Processing Applications

Care4Kids is now taking applications without a waitlist. Please spread the word to eligible families! Our friends at CAHS have created a blog post focused on Care4Kids. Please direct parents to call Care4Kids directly for now, at 1-888-214-KIDS (5437), rather than 211, or visit the "Contact Us" page for Care4Kids.

In addition, we're looking for families who are willing to talk to the press about how hopeful they are, now that they have access to Care4Kids (preferably someone who has just come off the waitlist - what does it mean to the family, now that they have Care4Kids subsidies?) Please contact Jessica at [email protected] with parents willing to share their story.

Governor Proposes Budget Prior to Session

In a break from tradition, Governor Malloy released his proposed budget ahead of his "State of the State" speech to kick off the 2018 Legislative Session. The proposal closes an expected $165 million deficit in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Early childhood programs, including Care4Kids, remain at the levels in the biennial budget approved last November. The budget documents can be found HERE. CT Mirror, CT NewsJunkie and Hartford Courant have all offered insight on the proposals.

February is Children's Dental Health Month

Every month should be children's dental health month, but February is specifically designed for that purpose! The focus of the month is to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers, etc. The slogan this year is, "brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile."

How will your program celebrate Children's Dental Health Month? Send us some pictures and share your ideas so that we can share what you're doing with others.

Here's a fun fact for you, courtesy of Colgate Toothpaste: Did you know that children growing up in prehistoric times most likely did not suffer from tooth decay? Why? The American Dental Association says that sugar wasn't part of their diet.

WTNH Channel 8 spoke with a local dentist about when parents should bring their children for their first dental visit. To watch the interview, click HERE.

Advocacy Day In March

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance will host its annual Advocacy Day on Tuesday, March 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Old Judiciary Room of the State Capitol. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., the program runs from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., followed by meetings with your local legislators. To register, visit www.earlychildhoodalliance.com/calendar. The flier can be found HERE.

THRIVE! Training and Technical Assistance Available

THRIVE! is offering free medication administration, First Aid and CPR trainings to subsidy providers. The sessions run in February and March. To learn more or to register, click HERE.

CHDI Impact Report Subject of WNPR Story

Child Health and Development Institute, Inc's latest IMPACT report, "A Better Way to Assess Developmental Needs in Early Childhood Systems: Mid-Level Development Assessment," was recently the topic of a WNPR story. The study looks at how Connecticut, and communities in four other states, use what's called Mid-Level Development Assessment, or MLDA, to help identify mild to moderate behavioral and developmental concerns for children under age 6.

Setting Young Children Up for Success Forum

Join the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children and Seniors, the State of Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate and Center for Children's Advocacy, on Tuesday, February 13, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., for "Setting Young Children Up for Success." The event will take place at the Legislative Office Building, Room 1D. The keynote speaker will be Walter Gilliam. The discussion will focus on the importance of setting young children up for success in school. To register, click HERE.

Survey Time! Help DPH Understand Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) wants to learn from you! If you operate an early care and education program, please complete this brief survey prior to February 28The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.

By completing this survey, your program will be entered into a drawing for one of five classroom resource kits. Please, one survey completed per program. It is recommended that the program director, head teacher, or another staff person with a thorough knowledge of the program's policies and practices complete the survey.  

DPH will use the information to gain a better understanding of Connecticut's early care and education policies and practices and will work to align future resources and training opportunities based on this information. Responses will not be analyzed by individual programs.  Findings will be used by DPH as part of grant monitoring and evaluation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CT Voices Discusses State of Early Childhood Report

In January, Nicole Updegrove, Associate Policy Fellow for CT Voices for Children was a guest on WICC's "Coffee Break Chat" to discuss the yearly "State of Early Childhood Report" CT Voices recently released. Nicole noted that there is still work to do. Connecticut still doesn't have enough child care slots, especially when it comes to infant toddler care. Affordability remains an issue, too. To listen to the full interview, click HERE.

Related to CT Voices for Children, if you were unable to attend the recent budget forum, you can watch on CT-N HERE.

Lead Exposure: A Facebook Livestreaming Event

On Thursday, February 8, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Child Trends will host a livestreaming lecture and discussion on why childhood lead exposure is still a problem in the United States and the developing world, and what we can do to eliminate it. The keynote speaker is Mary Jean Brown, a nationally recognized expert on lead poisoning from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. A moderated discussion, with questions from the live audience and social media viewers will follow. To RSVP to the event on Facebook, click HERE (you will have to log into your Facebook account).

If you're unable to make the livestream event, but want more information on lead exposure, Child Trends has also released a new, interactive narrative feature to help explain why lead is still a problem in the United States.

Support for the Alliance comes from of our members and our funders: The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, Connecticut Health Foundation, Connecticut Community Foundation, Children's Fund of Connecticut, CT Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, a project of CT Council of Philanthropy; The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut; Community Foundation of Greater New Britain; Community Foundation of Greater New Haven; and The Fund for Greater Hartford.  

If you're interested in supporting our work, please consider a donation HERE.