Weekly News - May 15, 2017

Budget Update

All four caucuses and the Governor's Office have proposed budgets. Remember this is still the negotiating phase and you may find your program is in one budget but not another. As deliberations continue, it's important for lawmakers to hear from their constituents with a clear message: we cannot cut our way out of a budget deficit. Many of these programs are already operating at bare bones, and further cuts or complete elimination will hurt Connecticut families. We need to look at revenue options, including the sugar sweetened beverage tax. When it comes to the budget, we need you to call your legislators and tell them to protect programs and services that children and families rely on in CT. Tell them you support revenue options like the sugar sweetened beverage tax. We need to make it clear that we vote and that while business and industry is important to our economy, so are the families that live here. 

That said, please remember our Care4Kids efforts, including the LINK to contact your legislators (you do not have to write a new message - it's pre-written for you to send to your senator, representative, and Governor Malloy), or join the Thunderclap (which will use your social media (Twitter, Facebook, and/or Tumblr), to push out a common message at the same time to amplify our presence). To protect Connecticut's vulnerable families who need to work and care for their children, Care4Kids funds CANNOT be cut any further. Contact your legislators through this YMCA advocacy tool LINK and to learn more about the campaign, click HERE. You can also join our THUNDERCLAP, which will use your social media (Twitter, Facebook, and/or Tumblr), to push out a common message at the same time to amplify our presence. Click HERE to support the Thunderclap! We've hit our 100 supporters, but the more who sign on, the larger our reach will be!

No More Fee Waivers for Background Checks

If you need a background check, get it done before the end of June. And, all budget proposals raise fees from $50 to $75. Effective 7/1/17, the fee for processing required background checks will increase. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fee will stay the same; however, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), Division of State Police will no longer waive its fee for State criminal background checks.

The following can be found on the OEC page under "Licensing," then "Background Checks:"

Backgtound Checks
In the past, DESPP waived its $50 per person fee for background checks required by Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) § 19a-80 (c) for child care center and group home workers and volunteers, CGS § 19a-87b (c) for family child care home providers, their household members 16 or older, assistants, and substitutes, and CGS § 17b-749k (a) for unlicensed Care 4 Kids providers. Effective 7/1/17, DESPP will no longer waive this fee.

QRIS Listening Sessions

Statewide listening sessions have begun on the draft Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS). To see the list of upcoming listening sessions, click HERE. To take a look at the draft QRIS, click HERE (you'll have to turn the document).

All Our Kin Conference Registration Deadline Looms

May 23 is the deadline to register for All Our Kin's 2017 Conference for the June 3 Family Child Care Conference!

Licensed Family Child Care providers, assistance, substitutes, and active participants in the AOK Took Kit program are invited to register. Other early childhood professionals wishing to attend should contact AOK ([email protected]) to be placed on a wait list and will be notified after 5/23 if there is space. Please visit the Conference 2017 page to register. This year, there will be an $8 fee to attend the conference. Financial assistance is available.

Survey Could Net You a Free Membership or Conference Registration for CT-AIMH

In collaboration with CHDI's SAMHSA-Early Childhood Trauma grant and the Early Childhood Trauma Collaborative, the CT Association for Infant Mental Health (CT-AIMH) has developed a needs assessment survey that will collect data on any trauma training that has been offered (or currently being offered) in Connecticut. 

Who should fill out this survey?  Anyone who is working directly with children 0-6 or supervising staff that serve children 0-6 (and their families). 

The purpose of this survey is to:

  • Identify current trauma trainings/offerings
  • Identify the gaps/training needs
  • Help CHDI and intentionally create and target trauma training as they move forward with their grant
  • Help inform state systems and programs on where they may need to enhance their current trainings.
As a result of this survey, CT-AIMH hopes that trauma-specific trainings will be put in place that help the workforce that serves children 0-6 (and their families) to be better prepared to work with and support young children and families that have been impacted by or are experiencing trauma. 

Each person who completes the 10-minute survey, they may select to have their name put into a lottery for a free 2018 membership to CT-AIMH or a free registration for the CT-AIMH 2017 Fall Conference. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, June 9. 

Finding the Wonder Woman Within!

Community Renewal Team (CRT) is hosting a special event at Spotlight Theaters in Hartford - a preview of the new "Wonder Woman" movie to kick off its Women's Empowerment Fund. Tickets start at $75 and can be purchased HERE. The event, which includes hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, and a keynote talk by WFSB's Kara Sundlan, starts at 5 p.m. on June 1. The movie will follow around 7 p.m. 

CLC Releases New Video on "A Day in the Life" in a High-Quality Program

CLC Learning Centers, one of the largest child care programs in the state, recently debuted a new video, highlighting the benefits and challenges of a high-quality child care program. Most programs can relate to the experiences that this particular program shares in this video. To watch the video, click HERE. 

A Reminder About Benadryl

An important reminder arrived in the Alliance inboxes this week - it was from Senator Terry Gerratana, reminding parents and caregivers to never use Benadryl as a sleep aid. Benadryl and other antihistamines can be helpful for the treatment of medical conditions like allergic reactions, seasonal allergies, or itching from skin conditions. But antihistamines can cause drowsiness, result in many parents and caregivers using them as a sleep aid for children. This is a very dangerous practice, particularly with young children or babies who can experience seizures or cardiac arrhythmias, which can be fatal. In an online poll in 2011 by the Today Show and Parenting Magazine, of the more than 26,000 mothers who responded, one in five said they gave their children Benadryl or another antihistamine to get through a big event like a long car ride. One in 12 mothers responded that they regularly gave their children an antihistamine to keep their children asleep throughout the night. 

HAEYC to Host Annual Dinner

The Hartford Association for the Education of Young Children (HAEYC) invites your attendance to its "Annual Dinner Meeting" on June 20, 6 p.m., at the Hartford/Windsor Marriott in Windsor. The keynote and dinner begin at 6:45 p.m.The keynote will be Mary Dineen Elovich, who will present on self-compassion and teacher well-being. The night also serves as an evening or recognition, as individuals and programs are recognized for the important roles played. Professional development hours will be provided. The cost is $20 for HAEYC/NAEYC members and $35 for non-members. To register, click HERE. HAEYC is also seeking nominations for its Caring Co-worker Award to be presented the same evening. If you know of someone who should be nominated, fill this document out and send it back to HAEYC by June 13. 


Support for the Alliance comes from of our members and our funders: The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, Connecticut Health Foundation, Children's Fund of Connecticut, Connecticut Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, The Fund for Greater Hartford, and The Eder Family Foundation