Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

April 7, 2022

Senator Anwar Extols State Budget Inclusion of Early Childhood Funding

As much as $124 million committed to childhood support

With the Appropriations Committee today releasing adjustments to the 2022-23 fiscal budget, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) extolled the provisions included to support early childhood care. As much as $124 million, pending final approval by the state’s branches of government, will be committed to early childhood support; this would include $74 million for child care employee wage enhancements, $20 million to expand access for infants and toddlers to state programs, $15 million to support early childhood facility renovation and construction, $10 million in support of the Care 4 Kids program, which helps low-to-moderate income families in Connecticut pay for child care, and $5 million to support apprenticeships through the Office of Early Childhood and Development.

“One of my foremost priorities this legislative session – and in my work as a Senator – is to protect our children and provide them new resources to better their chances of success,” said Sen. Anwar, who serves as Senate Chair of the Children’s Committee. “After months of advocacy, I am extremely encouraged to see our state is investing in supporting and lifting up our youngest generations. We’ve known for far too long that early care workers, who we trust with our children from their earliest days, do not get paid what they deserve. We’ve known that expanding children’s access to important educational programs during their formative years makes it more likely they will succeed as adults. These investments will pay dividends in decades to come.”

On Thursday, the Appropriations Committee released its midterm state budget adjustments, making investments in a number of important fields, among the most important being childcare. These adjustments commit funding to early childhood educator pay, important to support high-quality education. According to a study from the University of California Berkeley, as of 2017, a majority of early childhood educators have to rely on public assistance and many face poverty-level wages. Early educators facing stress and low pay have more difficulty in facilitating effective education, the study found, and low pay also makes it more difficult to recruit and retain early educators.

Investing in increased access to preschool and early childhood education programs – as this budget does – has been proven to improve odds of academic success later in life. According to a 2018 pediatrics study, which followed 1,398 children, earlier intervention and education for economically disadvantaged children was found to correlate to a 48% higher rate of completion of at least an associate’s degree. Investing in these early-life educational programs can promote long-term educational success, which will lead to better health and economic outcomes, the study concluded. Funds supporting Care 4 Kids, which helps families pay for child care costs, further expands the effectiveness of these programs.

The budget’s investment in early childhood facility renovation and construction, as well as expanding access to early childcare apprenticeships, will go further in ensuring state facilities are providing the best environment for children to learn and grow in, as well as aiding the employment pipeline for the industry.

These adjustments will now lead to negotiations between members of state government leadership on a final spending plan, expected to be finalized before the legislature adjourns for the year on May 4.