CT Early Childhood Alliance Names Senator Formica as a 2018 Children’s Champion

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is recognizing Senator Paul Formica as one of twelve 2018 “Children’s Champions.” The Alliance recognizes legislators for their leadership on issues that impact the well-being of Connecticut’s young children in the areas of healthy development, early care and education, nutrition, and safety.

“Each of the legislators we’re recognizing this year stood up for children to protect funding for child care or to push policy change that supports families with children,” said Merrill Gay, Executive Director of the Alliance.

Legislation passed this year includes: A bill that will make it easier for homeless families to obtain child care, thus helping parents work and change their situations. Another bill that passed will allow the CT Office of Early Childhood to prioritize infants and toddlers if there is a Care4Kids wait list. It will also make it easier for the OEC to adjust provider rates for School Readiness and state-funded centers. An act mandating insurance coverage of essential health benefits including pregnancy and immunizations also passed this year.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized as a Children’s Champion,” said Senator Formica. “As co-chair of the Appropriations Committee, it was a challenging year crafting a state budget, but lawmakers were able to successfully protect funding for our most vulnerable children and preserve the Care4Kids program that helps so many. This year was also a successful year when it came to passing legislation that will help Connecticut better protect children. We passed new laws to provide safer and better outcomes for children with disabilities, including those who are suspected victims of abuse and neglect. We passed a law to help children in the foster care system better prepare for transitions. We also approved a law that will allow pregnant women to obtain health insurance when they find out they are pregnant. This will help more mothers access prenatal care, which is crucial to help children live healthy lives after birth. I want to thank all the advocates who worked hard to bring these ideas to lawmakers, including the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. I am so grateful to serve our state and honored by this recognition.”

Legislators honored this year are: Rep. Cathy Abercrombie (D-Meriden), Rep. Michelle Cook (D-Torrington), Rep. Andrew Fleischmann (D-West Hartford), Rep. Noreen Kokoruda (R-Madison), Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-Wilton),  Rep. Bobby Sanchez (D-New Britain),  Rep. Toni Walker (D-New Haven), Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26), Sen. Beth Bye (D-5), Sen. Paul Formica (R-20), Sen. Marilyn Moore (D-22), and Sen. Cathy Osten (D-19).

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is a statewide organization committed to improving outcomes in the areas of learning, health, safety and economic security, for children ages birth to eight. The Alliance’s goal is for all children in Connecticut to enter kindergarten healthy, eager to learn, and ready for school success.