Weekly News - September 19, 2016

Alliance Honoring 29 Children's Champions 

Rep. Kelly Luxenberg, Legislator of the YearWe've certainly been busy over the past two weeks! Alliance staff has been crossing the state to honor 29 legislators as Children's Champions. Every year, the Alliance recognizes legislators for their leadership on issues that impact the well-being of Connecticut’s young children in the areas of healthy development, early care and education, nutrition, and safety. Although the budget took center stage this past session, there was some important legislation introduced. Among the items passed this year: Repeal of the sales tax on diapers, which was included in the budget implementer and is set to take effect July 1, 2018; and House Bill 5466, which requires background checks and notice of convictions for any household member in a family child care home or group child care home. Important issues raised included paid family and medical leave, childhood obesity prevention, increased access to early childhood programs for homeless children, and recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce. 

Our "Legislator of the Year," Rep. Kelly Luxenberg, was honored at The Diaper Bank's "Rock Your Baby" event on September 15, at Amarante's Sea Cliff in New Haven. To see the photos of our honorees thus far, click HERE to see the album on our Facebook page. You don't have to have an account to see our pictures. 

This year's honorees are:

Legislator of the Year: Rep. Kelly Luxenberg 

Representatives: Cathy Abercrombie (D), Tim Ackert (R), Juan Candelaria (D), Michelle Cook (D), Jeff Currey (D), Andrew Fleischmann (D), Noreen Kokoruda (R), Gail Lavielle (R), Matt Lesser (D), Kelly Luxenberg (D), Patricia Billie Miller (D), Gayle Mulligan (R), Robyn Porter (D) Christine Randall (D), Bobby Sanchez (D), Diana Urban (D), Toni Walker (D).

Senators: Dante Bartolomeo (D), Toni Boucher (R), Beth Bye (D), Len Fasano (R), Mae Flexer (D), Terry Gerratana (D) Ed Gomes (D), Art Linares (R), Martin Looney (D), Marilyn Moore (D), Gail Slossberg (D), Gary Winfield (D).    

Early Childhood Education Positions of the Presidential Candidates

Over the last few weeks, early childhood education has become a topic for both major party candidates for president and was widely covered in the media. Are you wondering where your candidate of choice stands on the issue? You can find their position statements here, as well as a report from the Ms. Foundation:
Hillary Clinton 
Donald Trump
Ms. Foundation Report

Children's Mental Health Discussed at State Capitol 

On September 8, a number of experts, legislators, providers, teachers, and parents, gathered at the Capitol to discuss children's mental health and ECCP. If you missed this happening live, you can watch the event on CT-N by clicking HERE.

Data Haven Presentation on Childcare Enrollment, Accessibility in Waterbury 

On Tuesday, September 27, Data Haven will present its newest report and interactive mapping of childcare enrollment and accessibility in Waterbury. The presentation will take place at 3:30 p.m. at Veteran's Hall-Waterbury City Hall, 235 Grand Street, in Waterbury. Please RSVP by September 22. RSVP and other information can be found HERE

CHDI's Biennial Report Now Available Online

Biennial information for Child Health and Development Institute and the Children's Fund is now available online in an interactive format. The information on this website replaces the traditional printed report. The report can be found at http://www.chdibiennial.org/  

Webinar: Pregnancy and Oral Health

More than half of pregnant women do not see a dentist during their pregnancies. They should: forgoing dental care can lead to painful infections and gum disease, which a growing body of research links to adverse birth outcomes. Good oral hygiene also reduces bacteria that, when passed from mother to infant after birth, can lead to early childhood caries. The ACA has improved health coverage for pregnant women broadly, but limitations in access and education continue to keep many women from receiving dental services.

The webinarPregnancy & Oral Health in the ACA Era: How are Expectant Moms Faring? on September 27, from 1:30 - 3 pm will explore ways to connect women to dental coverage and care during pregnancy.  Register by clicking HERE.

Care4Kids Meetings Scheduled Across State

In order to understand changes made to Connecticut's Care4Kids program through the re-authorized federal CCDBG (Child Care Development Block Grant), a number of resources are being made available to parents and providers - one of which is meetings in several towns across the state. The meetings will be held October 6 in Torrington, October 13 in New Haven, October 15 in Middletown and October 20 in New London. Seating is limited and reservations are needed. To register, click HERE. In the "options" section, click the drop-down menu to find "Care4Kids Information Sessions." Click "book" to register for the meeting of your choice. 

Other resources available include the Care4Kids website, information flyers in both Spanish and English (also found on the website) and this week, a recorded Powerpoint presentation highlighting the important changes.

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, and The Eder Family Foundation.