Cathy Osten


Cathy Osten



November 8, 2017

Sen. Osten Welcomes State Reopening of “Care4Kids” Program

State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague), who is Senate Co-Chair of the Appropriations Committee, today welcomed 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. Osten and other child care advocates made re-funding the Care4Kids program a priority in the 2018-19 biennial state budget, and they secured $10.25 million in state funding in the current FY18 fiscal year, and another $20.5 million for FY19.

“My colleagues and I spent a lot of time over the past several months working to ensure that Care4Kids funding was included in the new state budget, so this is a big win for those families who want and need to have their children in a safe and productive learning environment while they are at work earning a salary” Sen. Osten said. “There are a lot of successes in this budget, big and small, and the Care4Kids funding is one of those little line items that doesn’t spend a lot of money in the big picture but which has an enormous impact on the quality of life for thousands of Connecticut families.”

Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced today that effective immediately, the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) 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.

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 defined by priority groups and those families who have been on the wait list longest.

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