Weekly News July 15, 2019

Big Announcement: Rate Increases for Care4Kids Program

Wednesday morning, the CT Office of Early Childhood announced the first substantial Care4Kids center-based provider rate increase since 2002. Effective September 1, 2019, center-based infant/toddler care rates will increase to the 50th percentile of the market. Preschool rates will increase to the 25th percentile of the market. The dollar amounts of these rate increases vary across the five regions, based on the market cost of care. In the North Central region (Greater Hartford) that includes the most children, the rate for full-time infant/toddler care will increase form $201 per week to $308 per week. The rate for full-time preschool care will increase from $160 to $203 per week. The impact of all this is that parents will have more options for care where they won't have to pay the difference between the tuition cost and the value of the Care4Kids subsidy. In addition to the center-based rate increase, family child care homes also got raises negotiated under the collective bargaining agreement between OEC and CSEA SEIU-2001.

The rate adjustment has three major benefits: 1) gives parents, particularly those with infants, better buying power and access to child care options; 2) helps stabilize child care providers financially, many of whom are small business owners; 3) and enhances the ability for child care centers to improve the quality of care for developing minds.

The rates are being increased at the scale necessary to respond to federal requirements to provide greater choice and access to families. The federal government requires 25th percentile for rates and recommends 75th percentile. Connecticut is making great strides with the news today, moving infant/toddler care from the 2nd percentile to the 50th percentile and preschool from the 7th percentile to 25th percentile. Ultimately, this means less out-of-pocket expense for parents and a more economic stability for child care providers. 

The OEC has updated its rate table (increase is effective as of September 1). It can be found HERE. CT Newsjunkie, CT-N, and WFSB all covered the announcement.

Background Checks UPDATE

The OEC Legal Department has released a few updates regarding the staff roster and background check turnaround time. This document explains the newest updates.

New Laws on the Books That Impact Child Care Services

Debra Johnson of the Division of Licensing at the OEC has released a summary of bills to remind providers of legislation that will have a direct impact on centers and summer camps. The document can be found HERE.

Assessment in Kindergarten: Meeting Children Where They Are

NAEYC has published a resourceful article on developmentally appropriate assessments for young children. It is written by a long-time kindergarten teacher in North Carolina, Amy D. Blessing, who is now a Kindergarten demonstration classroom teacher. She notes how much has changed in her 20 years of teaching, when it comes to assessing children in the classroom.

She speaks of intentional teaching: "It would be easy to have a sweeping negative few of assessments in the current climate. Like many teachers, I have felt dread when someone mentioned assessments. But I know that long before this age of high-stakes accountability, intentional teachers were developing and using assessments as powerful tools in their toolboxes," Blessing said. She continued, "intentional teachers gather data that are needed to guide instruction, ensuring that all children grown and learn at the right pace. We use assessments to find our students' strengths and to figure out which areas we need to target for early intervention. We use varying methods of observation and assessment to find out what young learners ar eable to do, sot hat we can help them progress. These varied strategies are important for all young children, and especially so for dual language learners (DLL)."

To read the full article by Amy Blessing, click HERE.

Merrill Gay a Guest on WSHU's "The Full Story"

On Monday, July 15, our Executive Director Merrill Gay was asked to be a guest on WSHU's "The Fully Story," to discuss child care safety and costs. Commissioner Beth Bye was also a guest on the show. To listen to the full radio show, click HERE.

Free Study Groups Available

ACES in Hamden is offering free study groups for collaborative discussions for early childhood teachers and/or administrators on topics related to NAEYC accreditation and quality improvement. The next available date is:

Wednesday, August 14th – 2 different locations: Study Group: Standard 6

9 am. – 11 a.m. ACES SDA building, 205 Skiff Street, Hamden, CT Or 12:30 – 2 p.m. – Hope Child Development Center, 81 Olive Street, New Haven, CT

Please bring copies of the NAEYC Assessment items and register to attend:  www.aces.org/workshops

Bus Tour Participants Sought

Would you be interested in opening your center doors to the participants on the CTAEYC Bus Tour?  The Bus Tour will be held on September 21st from about 9 am to 1 pm.  Please use the link below and fill out this short survey by July 24th to let CTAEYC know if you would like to be one of the centers visited.  They will call you to confirm your program and set up a time slot if you are selected. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TJKGT73