Joan Hartley

State Senator

Joan Hartley

Chief Deputy President Pro Tempore

An Independent Voice

April 21, 2022

Legislation to Identify Barriers to Opening Child Care Businesses Passed by Senate

State Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury, Naugatuck, and Middlebury) led approval of Senate Bill 408, which would direct the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development to identify economic barriers to opening a child care small business. The bill now advances to the state House of Representatives for a vote.

“Child care businesses were one of the most hard-hit industries by the COVID-19 pandemic and they are a critical component in the ability of parents to return to the workforce and maintain a job,” said Sen. Hartley. “By identifying and working to remove barriers to starting a child care business, Connecticut will support families across our state and grow a vital job sector.”

The state Department of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood and the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority, would identify and create a plan addressing economic barriers that pose an obstacle to individuals looking to open a child care center, group child care home or family child care home. A family child care home is within a private family home and generally cares for children on a regular basis between three and 12 hours per day. A group child care home can be in a private family home providing supplementary care to children.

The research effort and plan of action development follows on the heavy toll the COVID-19 pandemic had on the child care industry. According to CT Voices for Children, 21 percent of child care centers closed due to the pandemic.

Also, addressing the barriers to opening a child care small business would benefit the recovery of the job industry and the ability of women to re-enter the workforce after being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. An average of 35 percent of Connecticut women surveyed said a lack of child care impacted their ability to work, according to a report on the economic impact of COVID-19 on women in Connecticut published by the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Connecticut