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Connecticut Coalition Grabs Headlines With “Morning Without Child Care”

On March 15, child care providers across Connecticut opened late as part of a coordinated effort to bring attention to the country’s broken child care system. The extensive, high-profile coverage raised awareness for the issues plaguing families, educators, and providers. Through 10 rallies in cities across the state, advocates added 1,100 names to their list and generated over 1,400 emails to the governor and legislators. 

The Alliance for Early Success and Early Learning Nation recently brought together some of the coalition members behind  the successful Morning Without Child Care event. Panelists shared how they organized the events in a short time span, the tools that made the effort successful, and their advice for advocates who want to plan a similar effort in their states.

Resources shared included: 

The Morning Without Child Care Provider Toolkit 
Child Care for Connecticut’s Future coalition website 
Morning Without Child Care Parent Toolkit 
Morning Without Child Care Media & Press Coverage 
Upcoming Day Without Child Care (May 9, 2022) 

Panelists included: 

Eva Bermúdez Zimmerman
Child Care and Organizing Director of CSEA/SEIU Local 2001
Co-Chair of the Child Care for Connecticut’s Future Campaign

Eva Zimmerman is a former Councilwoman has served on many statewide and local non-profit and community boards, including Ella’s List, Hartbeat Ensemble, Newtown Education Foundation, and Find Us Outside Nature immersion childcare center. She still sits on the ACLU, Politica CT, Paid Family Leave boards and the Early Childhood Cabinet as well as being chair of the newly created early education coalition Child Care For Connecticut’s Future. 

Merrill Gay
Executive Director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance

Prior to joining the Alliance in 2013, Merrill Gay was Executive Director of the Coalition for New Britain’s Children. He has served on a number of early childhood initiatives, including the New Britain School Readiness Council, New Britain Head Start Policy Council, Early Childhood Finance Project Work Group, Early Childhood Workforce Task Force, and Infant Toddler Task Force. He was also co-chair of the CT Early Childhood Alliance and the New Britain lead for the Annie E. Casey Grade-Level Reading Campaign. 

Georgia Goldburn
Director of Hope for New Haven
Co-Founder and Member of CERCLE, Inc.

Georgia Goldburn has served on the boards and committees of several ECE organizations – CT Early Childhood Alliance, New Haven Early Childhood Council, and the CT Child Care Association — advancing legislation and policies geared at improving early childhood outcomes. Working with state legislators, she introduced legislation that required state and local emergency management officials to include child-care facilities in their notification system in the event of an emergency. Goldburn often lends her voice to issues of racial and economic inequity in the ECE system through numerous editorials that have been published both locally and nationally. Additionally, she has participated in several national conversations about how to transform the ECE system into a more equitable one. Goldburn was recognized in 2018 as a CT Early Childhood Alliance Children’s Champion and in 2017 with CT Parent Power Dauntless Early Childhood Hero Award.

Karen Rainville
Executive Director of the Connecticut Association for the Education of Young Children

Karen Rainville leads CTAEYC, the state affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a professional association with nearly 80,000 members from more than 300 Affiliates and more than 120 countries, including teachers, administrators, parents, educators, and policy members, committed to bringing high-quality early care and education to all young children. Prior to her work with CTAEYC she was a School Readiness Liaison and the Executive Director of Bridge to Success Community Partnership. Rainville supports early childhood work at the local level in her community and at the State level as the Co-Chair of the CT Early Childhood Alliance and has legislative appointments to the CT Early Childhood Cabinet and the Head Start State Advisory Council. 

Marina Rodriguez
Senior Director and Mentor Coach of All Our Kin

Born in Puerto Rico, Marina Rodriguez arrived in New Haven, CT at the age of 12. As an organizer, Marina works purposefully to support women, who work with children providing rich, responsive, culturally, child centered developmentally appropriate practices and spaces for children. Today she serves as a senior director at All Our Kin, a nationally recognized non profit that helps to train and sustain family child care educators and their programs. She also serves on the board of Celatto Day Care, a child care and support services for teenage parents and their children, and also supports a group of family child care educators who are organizing themselves, Hartford Family Child Care Educator Community. 

The webinar was moderated by Elliot Haspel, Program Officer at the Robins Foundation and nationally-recognized child and family policy expert and commentator. He is the author of Crawling Behind: America’s Child Care Crisis and How to Fix It.

This event was co-sponsored by EarlyLearningNation.com.

Is your state making progress in early childhood policy?

Find out in the latest edition of the 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Policy.