Weekly News - January 7, 2019

Changes Coming to the Office of Early Childhood, DCF

You may have seen the email that the Alliance sent out last Wednesday, with an article from the Hartford Courant announcing a change to the CT Office of Early Childhood. Each incoming administration decides who it wants to lead various departments, and last week, news came of a familiar name chosen to lead the CT Office of Early Childhood. On January 9, Senator Beth Bye will not take the oath of office for the 5th Senate District, but will begin the process of becoming the newest commissioner of the OEC (she will need  to go through a confirmation process). This now puts the 5th Senate seat back in play for a special election. Several names have been put forth as potential candidates - this CT Mirror story breaks down the race to fill the seat. To read more about Beth's appointment, click HERE. Photo - Sen. Bye named a 2018 Children's Champion by the CT Early Childhood Alliance.

Governor-Elect Lamont has also appointed a new Commissioner to the Department of Children and Families. Vanessa Dorantes is currently a DCF administrator, working in the Waterbury-Danbury-Torrington region. She is one of six regional DCF administrators and has worked in the DCF system since 1992. The Hartford Courant profiled Dorantes, who, like Beth Bye, will have to go through the confirmation process. Click HERE to learn more about her.

The CT Mirror published a story on legislators who have taken new positions within the Lamont Administration. In total, three senators (Bye, Gerratana and Larson) and two representatives (Albis and Soto) have been appointed to new jobs within the administration. Senators Bye and Larson will need legislative confirmation.

Committee Appointments Released

As the session starts on Wednesday, committee chair appointments have been released. There is a new name heading up the Children's Committee. Mary Daugherty Abrams (Senate District 13 - Cheshire/Meriden/Middlefield/Middletown) will be the senate chair of the committee, with Rep. Liz Linehan as the house chair. Senator Beth Bye had been named as the senate chair of Education, but that will be changing, as she moves to the OEC, pending confirmation. Rep. Bobby Sanchez is the house chair for the Education Committee. Other chair assignments of interest - Senator Will Haskell for Higher Education and Employment Advancement, Senator Cathy Osten and Rep. Toni Walker for Appropriations and Senator Marilyn Moore and Rep. Cathy Abercrombie for Human Services. The Public Health Committee's senate chairmanship is currently vacant, as Senator Terry Gerratana takes a new position within the Lamont Administration.

Session Starts January 9!

Opening Day festivities begin on January 9, with the inauguration of Governor Lamont, a parade, and Governor Lamont's first State of the State Address before the legislature. Among the events at the Capitol on Wednesday will be a visibility event for the Campaign for Paid Family Leave. Gather in LOB Room 1E at 1 p.m. for a short briefing before the visibility event begins. Click HERE to RSVP. Overall visibility event info, parking availability, etc, can be found HERE.

Stay tuned to Alliance updates as the 2019 legislative session gets underway.

CT Receives $8.5 Million in PDG

Forty-five states and territories have been awarded the new Preschool Development Grants (B-5), including Connecticut, which will receive $8.5 million (awarded through the CT Office of Early Childhood). The PDG B-5 grants, which differ from previous Preschool Development Grants, are designed to fund states and territories to conduct a comprehensive statewide birth through five needs assessment, followed by in-depth strategic planning, while enhancing parental choice and expanding the current mixed-delivery system consisting of a wide range of provider types and settings, including child care centers and home-based child care providers, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, state prekindergarten (preK) programs, and home visiting service providers across the public, private, and faith-based sectors.

States and territories were invited to be innovative in planning, designing, enhancing, and evaluating their early childhood care and education mixed-delivery systems. They were also strongly encouraged to engage and develop their application jointly with a full range of early childhood stakeholders, including partners at the local community level and parents, to engage in system design and development that best meets the needs of families and their young children, particularly low-income and disadvantaged children.

Grant awards range between $538,000 and $10,620,000, depending on state and territory proposed plans. The grant performance period will run from December 31, 2018, through December 30, 2019. States and territories that receive this grant award will also be given the opportunity to apply for renewal grants prior to the end of 2019.

Alliance Seeking Interns

The CT Early Childhood Alliance is looking to fill one more internship - a video storytelling intern.

Video Storytelling Intern

Start Date: Position available until filled, to last Academic Term or summer
Available: Academic Year or Summer
Hours: 15–25 hours per week, between the hours of 9am –5pm
Compensation: This is an unpaid internship. The Alliance is willing to work with academic institutions to support credit-bearing internships

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance uses digital tools, including video communications, to strengthen and amplify a network of adults working to make things better for young children. The Alliance seeks a Video Storytelling Intern to help gather, document, produce and share the stories of families and early childhood educators to raise awareness of key early childhood policy issues. Stories produced by the Video Storytelling Intern will be shared with legislators, key allies, and the Alliance’s member organizations as an essential advocacy tool. The Video Storytelling Intern will report to the Executive Director, and will work collaboratively with volunteers as well as our communications and advocacy staff.

Primary Responsibilities:
Film short stories of early childhood stakeholders;
Editing video stories;
Develop consistent messaging and branding for Alliance videos;
Create a plan for disseminating videos and tracking their reach;

The ideal candidate has experience filming and editing videos, has strong written and verbal communication skills, is detail-oriented, has excellent interpersonal skills, and is organized and pays attention to detail. It is also important that the applicant has a keen interest in early childhood policy.

To Apply:
Please send a resume and cover letter with the subject line “Video Storytelling Intern” to Kayla Goldfarb, Director of Outreach, [email protected]

Time is Running Out to Enroll for ACA

Time is running out to enroll! Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through Access Health CT closes on January 15. Remember, CT does not use the national exchange - insurance is obtained here through Access Health CT. More plan information, assistance and renewal can be done at www.AccessHealthCT.com


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; and Community Foundation of Greater New Haven.