Weekly News - January 22, 2018

Help Increase Federal Child Care Funding!

Amidst the federal budget negotiations, there is an opportunity to increase child care funding. Please add your name to our letter that will be sent to the Connecticut Congressional delegation. We need your sign-on by this Friday, January 26. To read the letter and sign on, please click HERE. You are encouraged to share with other organizations that might be interested. If you have any questions, please call Merrill at860-978-2767.

CHIP Receives Six-Year Extension

Families using CHIP in Connecticut and around the country can breathe a sigh of relief. As part of negotiations on a temporary federal government spending bill, the CHIP program has been reauthorized for six years. That means the nine million children, including 17,000 in Connecticut, will continue receiving care. CT Mirror has MORE, including one of the reasons why both CT Senators voted against the temporary spending bill - that Community Health Care Centers, where many children on HUSKY B go for care, were not funded. 

Care4Kids Wait List Cleared

According to the Office of Early Childhood, all wait list applications for Care4Kids have been mailed out. For reference, this was the list that was created following the program's closure in 2016. 5,769 wait list applications were mailed out, and 2,336 were returned. Of those returned, 1,033 were granted, 438 were denied and 835 were still pending eligibility review. 611 had not yet been returned. 2,822 families were removed from the wait list from lack of reply. The total number of new families added to the wait list on or after November 2, 2017 was 1,045. Starting late last week, letters to the families on the "new" list were mailed out. This is encouraging news for those who have been waiting so long for Care4Kids.

It's not too early to talk to your legislators about the Care4Kids budget, particularly the governor's proposal to close the program again (as noted in the Deficit Mitigation Plan). If you run a center, consider inviting your legislators to visit and start a conversation. If you'd like further information, contact Merrill Gay at [email protected] or by phone 860-978-2767.

Family Child Care Network Announcement

The Office of Early Childhood, through the United Way of Connecticut, seeks organizations that currently support family child care providers who are interested in expanding technical assistance and shared service business alliance functions; or who are interested in launching a new shared service business alliance for family child care providers, to respond to a Request for Proposal.

The details are in the RFP. The RFP is due March 8, 2018. Respondents are required to attend one Bidders’ Conference. For more information, click HERE.

CT Voices for Children's Budget Forum

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.

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

Pediatrician: Early Stress Can Shorten Your Life

A San Francisco pediatrician, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, who has spent much of her professional life trying to spread awareness about the dangers of toxic stress, has a simple message: Early stress can literally shorten your life.

Extreme stress during childhood, if experienced in high enough doses, "literally gets under our skin, changing people in ways that can endure in their bodies for decades." Dr. Burke Harris says it can trigger chronic inflammation and hormonal changes. It can alter the way DNA is read and how cells replicate, and it can dramatically increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and potentially Alzheimer's. Two-thirds of Americans experience extreme stress in childhood, Dr. Burke Harris said. What can cause extreme stress? Things like divorce, a death in the family, abuse or neglect, or a caregiver's substance abuse or mental illness. To read the full NPR story, click HERE. To watch the TED Talk by Dr. Burke Harris, click HERE.

"Zero Weeks" Screening Planned for Norwalk

The "Zero Weeks" documentary on paid family leave is heading to Norwalk this week!

  • 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. To register, 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.