Weekly News - May 7, 2018

Last Hours of the 2018 Legislative Session

The legislative session ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. There will be a flurry of activity between now and 11:59. We are closely watching three bills that have passed the House, but have not yet been taken up by the Senate.

House Bills 5169, 5449, and 5450 have all passed through the House and are now awaiting action in the Senate. CALL YOUR SENATORS and ask that these three bills be placed on the Senate Consent Calendar.

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.

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.

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.

Please call now! Senate Democrats: 860-240-8600 and Senate Republicans: 860-240-8800

Senate Bill 256 has passed both chambers of the General Assembly. Thanks to all who made phone calls to get this bill passed. Your voices were heard! 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 now heads to the Governor's desk for his signature.

Save the Dates for CCDF Public Hearings

The Office of Early Childhood will hold three public hearings on the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) State Plan. The dates, times and locations are listed below. The public is encouraged to attend the public hearings and comment on Connecticut’s draft 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. More information on the plan is expected by the weekend.

How to provide public comment:
Individuals can sign up when they arrive at the public hearing.
Testimony can be provided in written form (preferably using this form) or in oral form.
Testimony can also be submitted in an electronic submission portal (will be available prior to the hearing dates).

May 15, 2018 1-3PM
Housatonic Community College – Beacon Hall, Classroom 273
900 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport CT

May 17, 2018 10-12 PM
United Way of Greater New Haven
370 James Street, Suite 403, New Haven CT

May 17, 2018 5-7PM
CT Office of Early Childhood – North Tower Plaza Room C
450 Columbus Blvd., Hartford CT

If you have questions, please contact Laura Dunleavy, 860-500-4419,[email protected]

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro Visits HOPE CDC

Last month, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro braved the stormy weather and made her way to a packed room at HOPE Child Development Center. With her, she brought news worth celebrating. Within the omnibus bill passed by Congress earlier this year, Connecticut can expect an approximate $15 million boost, through the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Typically, the state receives about $53 million from the federal government for Care4Kids. With this new allocation, the state will receive just under $70 million. It will bring the total funding for Care4Kids, between state and federal funding, to $144 million in 2019. This is still approximately $11 million short of what OEC estimated it would cost to run Care4Kids under new regulations and without a waiting list. Many, including the Alliance, have encouraged the OEC to use some of the new funding to increase rates, particularly for infants and toddlers. 

During the event, which brought out the OEC Commissioner, David Wilkinson, New Haven-area state Reps. Toni Walker and Juan Candelaria, the CT Early Childhood Alliance presented the congresswoman with the first "Congressional Children's Champions Award," for her hard work, particularly as a member of the minority party, in getting the single-largest increase in funding for early childhood since CCDBG was created. In the photo, Alliance Executive Director Merrill Gay and Alliance Co-Chair Randi McCray, along with tiny helpers from HOPE Child Development Center, present Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro with her Children's Champion Award.

YOUR VOICE MATTERS: Alliance Presents to Gateway Community College

Samantha Dynowski of the CT Early Childhood Alliance presented a program, "YOUR VOICE MATTERS" at Gateway Community College, focusing on the importance of advocacy for parents and teachers. She spoke of the work of the CT Early Childhood Alliance, current policy initiatives, and effective strategies to use. Forty people attended, and the audience was comprised of student teachers, supervising professors, teachers, parents, and program directors. The presentation was planned to highlight "The Week of the Young Child."  

Care4Kids Enrollment is Open, Featured on WICC

Just a reminder that if you haven't enrolled in the Care4Kids program, now is the time to do so - the wait list is clear, so the application process goes relatively quick, once eligibility is established. Recently, Merrill Gay spoke to Mike Bellamy on WICC 600AM to talk about the program. To list to the interview, click HERE. For more information on Care4Kids, visit http://www.ctcare4kids.com/ or call 1-888-214-KIDS (5437).

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.