Weekly News - March 12, 2018

Call Your Members of Congress Regarding CCDBG Funding!

Back in February, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) that included a bipartisan budget deal to keep the government funded through March 23, 2018. The bill also allowed appropriators to incorporate new, higher, spending caps into a FY2018 Omnibus spending bill, that includes an unprecedented $5.8 billion in funding over two years for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program (CCDBG). While Congress created a framework to double CCDBG funding, it has not actually allocated that money and time is running out to March 23If you have not called your members yourself, please do so now. Please call your U.S. Senators (Senators Blumenthal and Murphy) and your Congressional representatives, (ie, Rep. Larson, Rep. Courtney, Rep. Delauro, Rep. Himes, Rep. Esty). To find your Rep, click HERE. To contact both Senators, click HERE.

Here’s a script:

As a supporter of child care and early learning, I urge you to ensure that the Labor Health and Human Services and Education allocation is sufficient to sustain the CCDBGincrease included in the budget deal as well as the highest possible amount for other early learning programs. We hope that Congress is able to complete the FY 2018 process by March 23rd so that states can use the $5.8 billion over two years  to help more mothers work, more children have a strong early learning experience and more providers receive the support they need.

Legislative Update - Education Committee to Hold Hearing on Wednesday

Wednesday, March 14, will be the last public hearing of the short session. The Education Committee will be hearing testimony Marilyn & Georgiaon two bills of interest to the ECE community. The Alliance met on Monday to discuss its position on these bills at the Early Childhood Legislative Caucus meeting.  For more information about the caucus, please contact [email protected]Testimony is due to the committee via email [email protected] by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.  The hearing will start at 11 a.m. with public officials and continue on into the evening.

(Photo: Early childhood advocates Marilyn Calderon and Georgia Goldburn testify on Friday, March 9, before the Appropriations Committee on the subject of early childhood funding.)

This bill would change the BA requirement for teachers in state supported Early Care & Education programs to an Associates degree by 2020.
ALLIANCE POSITION: While the Alliance agrees the deadline will not be met in time, we recommend pushing those deadlines back, rather than do away with the BA requirement. We prefer a deadline push back and request a study commission to report back to the Education Committee on reasons why degree attainment isn't happening and offer recommend policy changes to attain the goal. 
This bill would give OEC the power to prioritize infants and toddlers for Care4Kids and give OEC the power to set rates for School Readiness and CDC's.  Currently School Readiness Rates are set by the legislature. 
ALLIANCE POSITION: The Alliance generally supports this bill. We support the mission change and making infant/toddler families a priority within Care4Kids Priority Groups, we are concerned about the funding - would this pull from lapsed funds or current program funds?

Early Childhood Proposals Before the CT General Assembly

The Alliance is tracking dozens of bills that have been proposed that address young children and early childhood stakeholders.  See the bills we are tracking on the bills page of our website.  

Breaking the Bond Lock Conference Rescheduled

Last week's foul weather forced CT Voices for Children to postpone its "Breaking the Bond Lock" conference. A new date has been rescheduled, to Wednesday, March 14, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Lyceum (3rd floor conference room). You will learn what the bond lock is, its impact, advocating for change, taking action.  To register for the event, click HERE.

CT Parent Power Parent Equity Advocacy Day Postponed

CT Parent Power's Advocacy Day, originally scheduled for March 13, has been postponed to Tuesday, March 27 or Thursday, March 29. When a final date has been set, we will make sure to share the information.

CLASP Releases Two Reports on Immigration Policy and Young Children

In the face of anti-immigration policies currently in this country, young children in immigrant families - babies, toddlers and preschoolers - are suffering immediate and potentially long-term consequences. CLASP has released two new reports on the topic. They can be accessed here - "Our Children's Fear: Immigration Policy's Effects on Young Children" and "Immigration Policy's Harmful Impact on Early Care and Education." The reports are based on field work with more than 150 early care and education professionals and parents in six states - California, Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Early Bird Rate Good Until 3/31 - Register for Childhood Conversations/Together We Will Conference Today!

The annual Childhood Conversations Conference and the Together We Will Conference are working together to bring you one comprehensive conference on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7, at the Hartford/Windsor Marriott! Registration is open! You can register online at www.childhoodconversations.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; Community Foundation of Greater New Haven; and The Fund for Greater Hartford.