The Early Care and Education Budget in Context: An Analysis of the Governor’s Proposed FY 11 Budget Revisions

Back • Publication Date: March 9th, 2010

Authors: Annemarie Hillman & Cyd Oppenheimer, JD

Downloads: Download #1

On February 3, 2010, Governor Rell released her proposed budget adjustments for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. These revisions preserve levels of funding for many of Connecticut’s early care and education programs, but would reduce planned Fiscal Year 11 funding for Connecticut’s main child care subsidy program, Care4Kids, by 12%. Care4Kids is an essential support for working families, helping to subsidize child care costs for low- to moderate- income families, many of whom would be unable to obtain safe and affordable child care for their children without assistance. By decreasing Care4Kids funding by $11.5 million, many of the working families who benefit from its subsidies will be unable to find affordable child care slots for their children. The proposed reduction in funding would allow Care4Kids to serve only about 17,760 children per month, compared to the 22,175 children served in May 2009.

The Governor’s proposed reduction in Care4Kids funding would also hurt Connecticut’s heralded School Readiness program, which provides preschool funding support for three- and four-year-olds in the state’s neediest school districts. In the Governor’s budget address, she promised to maintain all slots funded by School Readiness dollars. But cutting Care4Kids by $11.5 million means this promise will be impossible to keep. Programs supported by School Readiness dollars are not funded by the School Readiness funding stream alone, and many cannot exist without the Care4Kids funding stream as well. State-funded child care centers would also be hurt by a reduction in Care4Kids. The centers, like preschool programs receiving School Readiness dollars, also rely heavily on Care4Kids.