Weekly News - May 21, 2018

UPDATED: CCDF Plan Released; Feedback Due by May 31

The Office of Early Childhood has released the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) State Plan. Note that CT’s Care 4 Kids child care subsidy program is supported through CCDF funding. The three-year plan must be submitted to the federal Office of Child Care near the end of June 2018. On May 6, the OEC presented on the CCDF State Plan. Here is the PowerPoint presentation. The actual plan can be found HERE. The OEC is asking for feedback and input from families, providers and other stakeholders. The Alliance summarized the plan, which is about 170 pages long. The Alliance has its official comments HERE. The public may submit feedback electronically through an online survey tool.

Online Survey Tool:
Feedback may be submitted electronically through the online survey tool. It is recommended that users review the plan prior to completing the online tool. The online survey tool will be available through May 31, 2018.

What's Missing? OEC Seeks Pre-Comment on Draft Licensing Revisions

The OEC is seeking preliminary comments as the commission begins proposed revisions to the licensing regulations that govern licensed family child care, child care centers and group child care homes. These are strictly preliminary comments on "what's missing." These are not the official comments (a time to comment officially on the proposed regulations will come later). For Family Child Care, click HERE. For Child Care Centers and Group Child Care Homes, click HERE.

2018 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

The session has ended and as the dust settles, it's time to take a closer look at bills of interest to Alliance members. The Alliance actively testified and spoke with legislators regarding many of these bills. In terms of SB 183, the Alliance pushed for changes to be made at the committee level, then again once it hit the House and Senate.

Progress (Bills that Passed this Session):

Volatility Cap & Bond Lock - HB 5590 would delay the bond lock for a year. The bond lock was passed last session to restrict the ability of the legislature to increase spending even when revenue can cover the costs.

Childcare for Homeless Families and Fixing Background Checks HB 5169 - Among the provisions, this bill would make it easier for homeless families to obtain child care, thus helping them work and change their situations. The bill also fixes an error that creates unreasonable background checks and requirements on grandmothers and other family members that are caring for children using Care4Kids.

Infant/Toddler Care4Kids and Rate Adjustments HB 5449 - This bill will allow the OEC to prioritize infants and toddlers if there is a Care4Kids wait list. It would make it easier for the OEC to adjust provider rates for School Readiness and state-funded centers.

Degree Requirements HB 5450 - Would push back the 50/50 and Bachelor's degree requirement deadline by two years and require the OEC to prepare a report evaluating these requirements and the issues the field has had in meeting these requirements.

Essential Health Benefits HB 5210 - An act mandating insurance coverage of essential health benefits including pregnancy and immunizations.

Racial and Ethnic Impact Statements on GA Bills SB 256 - This bill would allow legislators to request a racial and ethnic impact statement on any bill before the General Assembly. This will be an important tool to understand and address inequity in public policy. It heads to the Governor's desk for his signature.

Missed Opportunities (Bills that Died this Session):

Oral Health Assessments HB 5213 - This bill would require children to submit an oral health assessment upon enrollment in public school, would allow oral health assessments to take place in licensed child care centers, and would allow dental assistants to administer fluoride varnish treatments. Dental decay is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood. 

Paid Family Leave HB 5387 - This bill would create a paid family medical leave system in Connecticut through a small payroll tax.

Lead Task Force HB 5403 - Lead poisoning has serious cognitive and behavioral impacts on children. This bill would create a task force to study and make recommendations to increase lead abatement at a prevention strategy. 

Strengthening Financial Systems for Family Child Care Providers

The Office of Early Childhood and the Early Childhood Funder Collaborative are developing a training series Strengthening Financial Systems for Family Child Care Providers. Twenty family child care providers are being sought to participate in this pilot and provide feedback to improve the training. In addition to receiving important content on budgets, financial reports and internal controls, participants must provide feedback. There are stipends for participation. Questions may be directed to All Our Kin, 203-772-2294 or [email protected]. The flyer can be found HERE.

The Screening to Succeed Conference

The Screening to Succeed Conference/Call to Action will be held on Tuesday, June 19, in Rocky Hill at the Sheraton Hartford located at 100 Capital Boulevard. The focus of this free day-long event is developmental screening. The June 19 conference is focusing on developmental screenings for 0 to 5 year olds with the ASQ and the M-CHAT. It will offer information, resources and opportunities to network with colleagues in order to follow up with them following the conference. In addition to early care and education providers, the conference may interest health care providers, home visitors, other community-based providers and families at this conference. For more information and access to the registration link, click HERE. To see the flyer, 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.