Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

April 28, 2021

Senator Anwar Joins Governor Lamont, Advocates for Promote American Rescue Plan Support for Early Childhood Education and Childcare Programs

MERIDEN – Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor), Senate Chair of the Children’s Committee, joined a group of state leaders including State Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams (D-Meriden), Governor Ned Lamont, Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye, Department of Children and Families Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes, Meriden-New Britain-Berlin YMCA CEO John Benigni and Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati to discuss and promote the funding plan for child care and early childhood education laid out in the American Rescue Plan. The federal funding is expected to infuse millions of dollars into Connecticut’s efforts in helping children develop, including through upcoming childhood engagement programs. Those assembled gathered at the YMCA Child Care Center in Meriden.

“After a year of remote learning, of the pressures of the pandemic, we owe it to our children even more to make sure they have the resources and support necessary to not only recover but thrive,” said Sen. Anwar. “The American Rescue Plan will provide millions of dollars to directly help so many families in our state, especially in children. Funding will support summer enrichment programs and educational support programs that will help provide our younger populations with the support they need and deserve, in the immediate future and for years to come.”

“I want to make sure we come out of this horrible pandemic stronger on behalf of everyone, and no one is left behind,” said Governor Lamont. “Meriden is a model of how we ought to do things, and right here in the center of town is the YMCA, making sure our children get the opportunities they deserve and the right start. This is the greatest expansion of early child care in the history of our state through the American Rescue Plan. We’ll be able to make sure every kid who wants to go to camp has that opportunity. It’s been a tough year but Connecticut is coming out of this stronger. We’re all in this together; if we didn’t take care of each other during this last year, we’d be worse off. It’s going to be a great summer in our state, but I hope it will be a wonderful summer for our children.”

Through funding in the American Rescue Plan, said Commissioner Bye, the state will receive up to $170 million toward child care stabilization, of which $120 million has been designated to support programs such as the YMCA. Groups supporting children will receive several grants with funding specifically targeting communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, many slated to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Connecticut’s summer enrichment programs will be bolstered through $11 million in funding to expand existing programs and build out new and innovative ones through grants, with the intent of supporting as many children as possible.

Further support for children in Connecticut through American Rescue Plan Act funding will provide grants to serve as scholarships to allow families to subsidize the cost of summer programs such as summer camp; expand access to recreation and educational opportunities statewide in the summer; provide hands-on summer experiences for children; and provide grants to support youth past the summer, with development of programs for students between the ages of 12 and 17, investing in youth employment and recruiting and training 500 college students statewide to work as mentors for children in summer programs.

Among additional support for early childhood and family needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the state will commit $346 million to the Office of Early Childhood. In addition to the above programs, the state will pay for Care4Kids parent fees, allowing working parents access to child care, provide free summer pre-school for 10,000 children ages 3-4 and supplement home visiting programs, among many other initiatives recently announced.