Between August and April, Connecticut lost more than 6,300 child care slots for low-income families and their children. This interactive map will show you how your town fared in the cut backs! Through the map, you can determine how many slots your town lost in total and by age group.
The Care4Kids program is in crisis. Due to changes to the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the program closed to all new enrollees, except TANF families, last August. With children aging out of the program and no new children coming in, the number of child care slots for children in low-income, working families has steadily decreased. As the months have gone on, the problem has become increasingly worse, and there is no end in sight. Click here to read more about what caused the Care4Kids crisis.
When comparing the number of slots available in each month in 2017 to the same month in 2016, it is evident that this problem continues to get worse and worse. In April 2016, 21,440 child care slots were available, but in April 2017, only 16,640 slots were available-- a 22.39% decrease. The decrease in slots over a 12 month period has steadily increased since December 2016.
As the months go on, we can expect the decrease in slots to continue to expand and impact low-income, working families, and we will probably see the sharpest decreases in the following months as families dependent upon Care4Kids subsidies to pay for summer camp and child care during the summer, are not able to access these funds. Therefore, when the numbers for June become available, we are likely to see a huge drop in available slots.
What You Can Do:
The Senate GOP, House GOP, Democrats, and the Governor all proposed different solutions to solve the $33 million dollar shortfall that closed the program.
- Governor's Budget: Maintains closure of the program by cutting $7.4 million (6%) in FY 2018 and $12.6 (10%) in FY 2019. However, it keeps the program in the Office of Early Childhood.
- Democratic Budget: Partially reopens the program in FY 2018 by allocating an additional $2.8 million (2%) in the first year by transferring TANF funds from DSS to the Care4Kids program. In the second year, however, the budget maintains the Governor’s FY 2019 $12.6 million cut and does not allocate any additional funds. The program is transferred from the Office of Early Childhood to the Department of Education.
- Senate GOP Budget: Partially reopens the program by allocating an additional $2.8 million (2%) in FY 18 and $8 million (6%) in FY 2019. The program is transferred from the Office of Early Childhood to the Department of Education.
- House GOP Budget: Maintains cuts similar to those in the Governor’s proposal, cutting the program $7.4 million (6%) in FY 2018 and $12.6 (10%) in FY 2019, keeping the program closed to new families. It also keeps the program in the Office of Early Childhood.
None of these solutions are sufficient to fully fund and reopen the Care4Kids program. With only a few more weeks left to pass a budget, it is more important now than ever before to call your legislators and tell them to support low-income, working families by fully funding and reopening Care4Kids. While this may necessitate pursuing revenue options in order to gain sufficient funds, this program is vital in allowing parents to go to work with peace of mind, knowing that their children are being cared for in a safe, stable, and reliable environment. Call your legislators now!