The final FY 17 budget protects critical investments in early care and education, recognizing that the first few years of a child’s life are the most critical for brain development and future life outcomes.
Connecticut has made strides in building a high-quality and comprehensive early childhood system in the past few years, and the FY 17 final budget prioritizes our commitment to our youngest citizens in a difficult budget year.
The final budget:
- Funds Care 4 Kids at the original appropriation level ($122.1 million), and keeps the program as a standalone line item. However, the combination of new federal regulations without additional federal appropriations, and flat-funding Care 4 Kids at the state-level, will result in the program closing to families above 30 percent State Median Income, effective July 1, 2016.
- Consolidates and maintains funding for three early childhood programs: School Readiness in Priority School Districts, School Readiness in Competitive School Districts, and state-funded centers in one line item called Early Care and Education.
- Cuts funding for School Readiness Quality Enhancement by $503,151 (10.8 percent) and Child Care Quality Enhancements by $254,098 (8.1 percent), among other programs that work to improve quality.