Weekly News January 16, 2018

CT Voices for Children's Budget Webinar and Upcoming Budget Forum

On Wednesday, January 17, CT Voices for Children will host "The State Economy, the State Budget, and the State of Our Children" webinar, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

The budget passed by the General Assembly in October was much more than a budget document. In addition to severe cuts, the General Assembly also imposed sweeping changes to the state's constitutional spending cap, along with several new budget restrictions. These rules could dramatically weaken Connecticut's ability to make children and families a priority, and hamper the strategic investments to long-term economic growth.

The coming legislative session will be crucial. These four new fiscal restrictions (bond cap, spending cap, volatility cap and bond lock) have the potential to make all efforts moot. Unless they are addressed, fixed costs will crowd out spending for children and families, with the legislature constrained to only austerity budgeting.

In the webinar, Ellen Shemitz, Executive Director of CT Voices for Children, and Ray Noonan, Associate Policy Fellow, will explore these pressing budgetary issues before the state legislature this session. On the agenda:

  • The state of Connecticut's economy, and why it matters for the state budget.
  • The state of Connecticut's budget, with an overview on revenues and liabilities
  • The state of our children, and how the state has shifted away from its priorities.
  • The new fiscal restrictions in the budget, and how they might impede future growth.
  • How to chart a path towards fact-based, equitable solutions.

The webinar will be broadcast live at the CT Voices website and YouTube page. You can register right through the website link.

In addition, CT Voices for Children will hold its 17th Annual Budget Forum, on Tuesday, January 30, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the Old Judiciary Room of the State Capitol. To register, click HERE.

As CT Voices for Children gears up for what is sure to be another difficult fiscal year, the forum will explore some of the most pressing budgetary issues before the state legislature this session, including:

  • New fiscal restrictions
  • The declining Children's Budget
  • Surging pension costs
  • Fundamental tax reforms

Early Childhood Workforce Study

Would you like to take part in a workforce study? The University of Hartford and the CT Office of Early Childhood are seeking teachers in any setting, assistant teachers or aides in any setting, directors/managers/principals, home visitors, Birth to Three Part C providers, etc., to participate in a study about the early childhood workforce and how you’ve become so knowledgeable about what you do. The study entitled, The Early Childhood Workforce: Who We Are & What We Know, is funded through a University of Hartford Sprout Grant and will be conducted by staff from the University of Hartford and the CT Office of Early Childhood.

Collection of data will occur through a survey and there is an option to choose to participate in a short focus group session after completing the survey.  If you are interested in participating in this study, please click on this link:https://goo.gl/forms/4XTU8KsWcfw01Xi22.  The link will take you to a description of the study and a quick 10 minute survey.  By completing the survey, you are giving your consent to participate in the study.  At the end of the survey you will be given an option to participate in a focus group. If you have any questions, please contact Deb Adams at [email protected]

New York Times: Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid The Least?

The New York Times published a lengthy, in-depth article on a Springfield child care provider and focuses on a variety of topics, including the impact of early childhood education and contrasts what child care providers are paid to do such an important job.  To read the article, click HERE. The article got us thinking - what other child care stories are out there locally? Would you be willing to share your story with the Alliance? Contact Jessica at [email protected] to start the process. 

CTAEYC Saturday Academy Begins on January 20

The first Saturday academy begins this weekend! The focus will be on Ages and Stages of Development Infant/Toddler Growth and Behaviors (Infant/Toddler Academy) and You Are What You Eat (Preschool Academy). The CTAECY Saturday Academy takes place at Housatonic Community College from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Download the brochure and registration form here - https://www.ctaeyc.org/saturday-academy/ For more details, call 203-439-0640.

"Zero Weeks" Screenings Planned for West Haven, Waterbury, Norwalk

Mark your calendars if you're in the West Haven, Waterbury or Norwalk regions - the "Zero Weeks" documentary on paid family leave is heading to a library or foundation near you.

  • Thursday, January 18, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Ora Mason Library, 260 Benham Hill Road, West Haven.
  • Tuesday, January 23, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Silas Bronson Library, 267 Grand Street, Waterbury
  • Thursday, January 25, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fairfield County Community Foundation, 40 Richards Avenue, Norwalk (film begins at 6 p.m., pizza available at 5:30 p.m.) CHILD CARE PROVIDED - click HERE to RSVP and reserve child care.

To register for any of the upcoming "Popcorn & Paid Leave" events (and pizza for the Norwalk event), click HERE.

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.