A new edition of our State of Early Childhood report, which looks at funding and program developments through Fiscal Year 2015. Our main findings are:
Unequal access to childcare. A third of kindergarteners in the state's poorest school districts never attended preschool, compared with just 2% of children in the wealthiest districts.
Increasing child poverty and high costs of childcare. While the overall population of children under five in Connecticut has decreased by 5% since 2010, the number of young children in poverty has increased by 8%. In 2015, 30,000 children under five (16.3% of all young children) were living in poverty. While child poverty is increasing, costs of childcare remain high (center care costs $13,800 for infants and $11,500 for 4 year olds, on average).
Increased spending but persistent unmet needs, declining number of home daycare providers. The number of licensed centers and home daycare facilities across the state has been steadily falling at a rate of about 100 closures per year. Most of those losses have been concentrated within home daycare providers, which tend to serve low-income children, especially infants and toddlers.
Improvements in coordination and support with the formation of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood (OEC), but a need to improve teacher training and compensation.