Weekly News, September 23, 2019

BREAKING NEWS: OEC to Extend Fingerprint Processing Fee Deadline to December 31

Commissioner Bye and the Office of Early Childhood announced that OEC will extend coverage of these fees through the end of calendar year 2019, or until those allocated funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first.

Background check applications that are due through December 31, 2020 will be accepted during this period of OEC payments.  Applications that are not due until January 2021 or after will be returned to sender.

La Comisionado Bye y la OEC se complacen en anunciar que la OEC extenderá la cobertura de estas tarifas hasta el final del año 2019, o hasta que se agoten los fondos asignados, lo que ocurra primero.

Las solicitudes para verificaciones de antecedentes que se vencen el 31 de diciembre del 2020 serán aceptadas durante este período de pagos de la OEC. Las solicitudes que no se vencen hasta enero del 2021 o después serán devueltas al remitente.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro Visits Stratford to Talk CCDBG, Care4Kids

On Monday morning, a group of 20 parents and advocates  meet with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro at Honey Bear Learning Center in Stratford. They celebrated the first substantial Care4Kids increase in payments to child care centers in 17 years. That rate increase was made possible by additional CCDBG funds, championed by Congresswoman DeLauro in the last federal budget. Cathie Vanicky, owner of Honey Bear, shared the story of one of her employees, whose own child care parent fee dropped and who will be receiving a raise from the new revenue the center will be getting. While this was welcomed news, three parents told their stories about being denies a child care subsidy for the time they are in school or job training. Connecticut is only one of two states in the nation that do not allow allow parents to use Care4Kids for the time they are in school (GED, college) or job-training programs.

Lenore, a single mother from New Haven, had worked for the past five years, but lost her job when her employer phased out her position. When she was working, she had Care4Kids, but after exhausting her 90 day job search period, she learned she wouldn't be eligible if she started training for a new career. 

"It's still hard to try to get ahead and do better, when you don't have the assistance to do better," said Lenore.

Mylene, a West Haven mom, tearfully told the group about having her lights shut off because she couldn't pay for both utilities and child care while she finished a six-month pharmacy technician program. She too, had been denied Care4Kids for the hours she was in training.

Congresswoman DeLauro praised the parents for their bravery in telling their stories, and told the group about the state of budget negotiations in Washington. The House Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Appropriations subcommittee, chaired by DeLauro, passed a spending plan that would increase CCDBG funding by $2.4 billion and Head Start by $1.5 billion. However, the Senate version has much lower amounts. All indicators point to a continuing resolution to maintain current spending levels, while the House and Senate negotiators try to hammer out a deal.

"Child care is a real pressing need," said Congresswoman DeLauro. "This will be a battle royal," she said of the coming budget fight.  

Stratford state Representatives Joe Gresko and Phil Young and CT Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye attended the meeting and heard the parent stories. 

"Workforce is a big focus of Governor Lamont," said Commissioner Bye. "They're putting together a workforce package right now - a workforce development bill - and they're listening."

The CT Post covered the meeting and the article can be found HERE.

Hartford Chosen to Expand LENA

Hartford has been chosen as one of five cities to replicate "Providence Talks," one of the first early language initiatives implemented at the municipal level, with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Hartford will receive $2.5 million as well as in-kind donations of LENA technology, curriculum, and program support. This will be a three-year project.

Providence Talks launched in 2014, after the City of Providence, RI, won the grand prize in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2013 Mayors Challenge with the idea to launch a city government-led intervention to promote language and interaction between children and their adult caregivers. In partnership with local nonprofits, Providence Talks has used LENA “talk pedometer” technology in home visiting, playgroups, and professional development to help parents and teachers learn to increase the quality of children’s language environments.

Independent researchers at Brown University evaluated Providence Talks for three years, finding that the program helped families to increase brain-building, back-and-forth conversations with children. Children also heard more words and showed advanced developmental skills. Children who began the program experiencing the lowest amounts of talk saw the greatest gains.

Hartford is expanding its existing LENA Grow and LENA Home programs as part of Hartford Talks. The program expects to serve 350 children annually by its third year. The initiative will operate through The Village, a local nonprofit, and in municipal early learning centers through the City Office of Children and Youth.

To learn more, click HERE.

Reminder: Invoices are Due!

Just a reminder, membership invoices must be paid in order to vote for Alliance officers and steering committee members at our October meeting.

Membership invoices were sent out in August. If you have been a member organization and did not receive one, please email Merrill Gay at [email protected] to let him know. If you are not a member organization, but would like to be one, you can become a member.

OEC Plans October Listening Tours

Throughout the month of October, the CT Office of Early Childhood will hold community meetings/listening tour on "Prenatal Through Age 5 Family Supports." The sessions are open to parents of young children or expectant parents, community organizations, service providers, or local businesses who work with families with young children. 

Middlesex Coalition for Children Monthly Meetings

Middlesex Coalition for Children will hold monthly meetings the second Thursday of each month, from September through May. The meetings are 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. at deKoven House, 27 Washington Street, Middletown.

CTAEYC Annual Conference Coming Up in October

CT Association for the Education of Young Children's (CTAEYC) annual early childhood professional conference is coming up at the end of October. Register now for your top choice workshops. The conference will be held at Housatonic Community College, on Saturday, October 26, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

"Hungry for Change" Fall Conference

Join End Hunger CT!, Connecticut Food Bank, and Foodshare for "Hungry for Change," a morning of networking, the latest on Connecticut hunger data, and presentations on grassroots outreach, on Thursday, October 10, at Gateway Community College, 20 Church Street, (Room N100) New Haven, from  8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The keynote speaker is Attorney General William Tong. To register, click HERE.

CT-AIMH Announces Two Upcoming Infant Mental Health Child Care Provider Trainings

1. 4 tardes Entrenamiento de la Salud Mental del Infante y el Niño Este entrenamiento es para proveedores de cuidado de niños (en Español)

4-evening Infant Mental Health Child Care Provider Training Series (in Spanish).

Ubicacion/Location: Institute for the Hispanic Family, 45 Wadsworth St., Hartford, CT 06106

Dates/Time: Thursdays: October 17, 24 and November 7,14, 201, 5:15 p.m.-7:45 p.m.  Las sessiones de entrenamiento son los jueves siguientes:17, 24 de octubre y 7,14 de noviembre, de 5:15 p.m.-7:45 p.m.

Dinner provided.  Ofrecemos una cena para los participantes, cada noche.                                                                                                 

Topics: Introduction to Infant Mental Health, Attachment, Brain Development, and Child Development and Behavior.                    

Temas incluyen: Introducción a la Salud Mental Infantil, Entender el Apego, Entender el Desarrollo del  Cerebro, y el Desarrollo y Comportamiento del Infante y del Nio.                                      

Enlace para registrarse:  http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=6d4nveeab&oeidk=a07egiybbz922c7a182

2. 7-day Infant Mental Health Child Care Provider Training Series:

Location: Slocum Child Care Center, Waterbury (in English)

Dates: October 15, 22, 29 and November 6,13, 27, and December 4, 2019

Times: First day is 9 a.m.-3 p.m., all other days are 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Light lunch provided

Stipend for substitutes available upon request. Funds are available based upon number of requests.  Application provided upon request.

Topics: Introduction to IMH, Attachment,  Brain Development, Temperament, Sensory Integration, Separation, Partnering with Families, The Importance of Play, Attachment Environments, Child Development and Behavior, Screening and Reflective Practice.

Link to Register: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=6d4nveeab&oeidk=a07egkuwtc96c870c30


Support for the Alliance comes from of our members and our funders: Alliance for Early Success, Children's Fund of Connecticut, Connecticut Community Foundation, CT Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, a project of CT Council of Philanthropy; Community Foundation of Greater New Britain; Community Foundation for Greater New Haven; Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; and the Partnership for America's Children.