SDO 2019 End of Session Report

2019 End of Session Report

The 2019 Senate Democratic Legislative Priorities are a series of bills that passed the Senate to build upon the critical policy work we have accomplished in past years and respond to the priorities of the people of our state. As a result of the work of Senate Democrats, we will build a stronger, more prosperous Connecticut for the middle class and our families.

Click here to view the 2019 End of Session Report.

Bye Welcomes State Reopening of “Care4Kids” Program

State Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford), who spent years in the private sector developing ways to improve early childhood education and child care, is welcoming the announcement that the State of Connecticut is reopening applications for its “Care4Kids” program, thanks to the state legislature’s appropriating nearly $31 million for the program over the next two years.

Care4Kids is Connecticut’s child care assistance program for low-income families. It closed new applications to most families in August 2016 after the federal government instituted several new costly mandates, including ongoing professional development, background checks for providers, and new eligibility standards for families. As a result of those increased costs, an estimated 5,800 fewer children were served by the program.

Sen. Bye voted for a bipartisan state budget that made re-funding the Care4Kids program a priority in the 2018-19 biennial state budget, securing $10.25 million in state funding in the current FY18 fiscal year, and another $20.5 million for FY19. With her advocacy on behalf of school readiness, Sen. Bye has been involved in opening access to preschool since 1997. Sen. Bye was also a lead sponsor of the Smart Start initiative, which has helped public schools open preschool seats across Connecticut.

“For all of the compromises in the state budget that made it an affordable but complicated document, one of the shining successes is the money we were able to set aside for Care4Kids, which is really a national model for quality child care for working poor families,” Sen. Bye said.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced Wednesday that the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood has reopened the Care 4 Kids program and eligible families on the wait list can now begin to enroll for the state’s primary child care support. There are 56 West Hartford families and 30 Bloomfield families on the waiting list.

Families who registered on the wait list will begin to receive requests to apply in phases starting today. Consistent with state rules, enrollment begins with the highest-need families and those families who have been on the wait list longest.

For more information, please visit www.ctcare4kids.com or call 1-888-214-KIDS (5437).

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