Weekly News - September 25, 2017

Call Your Legislators!

The GOP budget proposal approved by the House and Senate has not yet been sent to the Governor's desk, but Governor Malloy has indicated when it does get transmitted, he will veto it. We know this can become tiresome, but this is the time we need your advocacy the most.

This budget eliminates the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) and moves the functions (including licensing, Birth-to-Three, Care4Kids, home visiting, and others) to the State Department of Education.  The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance strongly opposes this measure.  A state agency focused on all the needs of our youngest children must be maintained. 

It is very important that early childhood advocates speak up to ensure that the best budget for early childhood is passed.  Please take a few minutes today to make 3 phone calls:

1) The Governor has vowed to veto the budget, but it is still important to call his office at (860) 566-4840 or toll-free at(800) 406-1527 and say “I am calling to ask the Governor to veto the budget, and keep the Office of Early Childhood.” 

2) Call your state Senator and State Representative and say “I am calling about the Office of Early Childhood.  Please make sure it stays as its own agency so that early childhood gets the focus it deserves.”  You can look up your legislator and their phone number HERE.  Phone numbers for each of the Legislative caucuses are as follows:

House Democrats: (860) 240-8500 or toll-free  (800) 842-1902
House Republicans: (860) 240-8700 or toll-free (800) 842-1423
Senate Democrats: (860) 240-8600 or toll-free (800)842-1420
Senate Republicans: (860) 240-8800 or toll-free  (800) 842-1421

August Care4Kids Numbers

The August Care4Kids numbers have been released. The one year, town-by-town change between August 2016 and August 2017, shows 8,002 fewer children enrolled from last August. Click HERE for town-by-town numbers (there are multiple spreadsheets within this report to show impact on each age group). The Alliance also has a spreadsheet available that compares August 2016 to August 2017. 

CT Voices for Children has also written a blog post on child care center closures and Care4Kids enrollment decline over the past year. 

It's a Critical Time for CHIP and MIECHV

We're following along with developments in Washington, DC when it comes to CHIP and MIECHV reauthorization. MIECHV is set to expire on September 30. Our friends at the Home Visiting Coalition (@homevisiting on Twitter) are pushing out tweets to encourage Congress to pass the Senate Bill 1829, "The Strong Families Act of 2017." While both the House and Senate have different versions, the House bill has some items that are concerning to HVC, including a state match requirement and measuring economic self-sufficiency. 

In regards to CHIP, there is also a September 30th deadline. Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which has allowed 8.9 million kids nationally, and 17,000 in Connecticut, to access quality affordable health care, must be re-authorized by September 30. The CT Mirror had a story that looked closer at the state impact of CHIP.

DPH Newsletter Focuses on Child Obesity

The Fall 2017 e-Bulletin from the CT Department of Public Health focuses on childhood obesity prevention. This newsletter offers links to information on feeding infants and toddlers, meeting the needs of breastfed babies in child care, child obesity prevention, and other resources for families. To read the pdf, click HERE. 

Child Poverty Persists in Connecticut

CT Public News Service takes a closer look at child poverty; 95,000 children are still living in poverty in Connecticut - one of the wealthiest states in the nation. While child poverty is slightly down in Connecticut and the nation, almost 13% of the state's children live below the poverty line. To read the full report, click HERE 

CT Parent Power Hosts Annual Gala

On Friday, October 13, CT Parent Power will be hosting its 5th Annual Red Carpet Hero Awards Gala, from 6 p.m. to midnight, at the Four Points Sheraton in Meriden. Tickets are $100 per person. To register a group, click HERE.  For tickets, click HERE. To make a donation, click HERE.

CTPP Gala 2017

CTAEYC's "Pathways to Quality" Conference Coming Up in October

Registration for the annual Pathways to Quality Conference is due by October 6 for the October 14 event! Early childhood professionals can attend a full day of exciting and informative workshops on topics such as musical activities, yoga, block play, science, classroom management, literacy, indoor and outdoor play, technology, improving fine motor skills, behavioral support, infant and toddler lessons, and so much more. It takes place Saturday, October 14, from 7:30 a.m. (registration) to 4:15 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel, 100 Berlin Road, in Cromwell. Details can be found here - https://www.ctaeyc.org/ 


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, 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; The Fund for Greater Hartford; and The Eder Family Foundation