News   |   Sign Up   |   A LEVER FOR SCALE  


The Connecticut Association for Human Services works to reduce poverty, promote equity, and build family economic success through outreach, education, and policy. Along with partners Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance, they inform service providers and others to advocate for policy and practice changes that move low to moderate-income families toward prosperity including: reducing child poverty, increasing access to quality early care and education, and supporting two-generation strategies.

State Allies:

Connecticut Association for Human Services • Hartford, CT
Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance • Hartford, CT
Top Priorities for 2021

Eliminate Connecticut benefit cliffs concentrating on increasing Medicaid A eligibility up to 200 percent of the FPL and eliminating the asset test for TANF.

Expand child care subsidy eligibility to include parents in job training or educational programs and create an initial job search period for homeless parents.

Establish a Connecticut Department of Labor-approved Early Childhood Apprenticeship program to create a pipeline of trained child care providers.

Move Connecticut away from child care subsidy rates based on a market survey to a system designed to pay for the cost of quality care.

Develop a plan for universal early care and education in Connecticut.

Connecticut’s 2020 Early Childhood Policy Landscape and Progress:

Estimated FY20 State General Fund Expenditures

House (D), Senate (D)
Governor (D)

107,151 Young Children (0-8) are Below 200% FPL

Pre-COVID-19, Connecticut had just begun to recover from the great recession. Harsh spending restrictions had built up a rainy day fund of $2.7 billion. 2020 was the second year of the biennial budget and a short non-budget session. Most of the action in 2020 was in the Governor’s Workforce Council, which developed proposals and made policy.

As hospitals filled with COVID-19 patients, the legislature allowed the governor to rule by emergency order for six months and adjourned in mid-March. All remaining bills died. In July, the General Assembly returned for a one-day special session to pass only election and police reform.

In the absence of a legislative session, policy development has continued through the Governor’s Workforce Development Council. Allies participated in the Barriers to Work Committee, which made recommendations in the Council’s report to the governor on expanding access to child care and smoothing benefit cliffs.

*Early childhood policy progress in a state is the result of numerous efforts — by those listed on this page and many others — who worked both independently and collaboratively to achieve wins for young children.

Download the full 50-State report.

The Alliance for Early Success 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Policy expands state data (disaggregating low-income young children by race) and provides high-level state policy trend analysis for the nation as a whole. Click the cover to go to the download page.

State Budget Data: National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), “Table 4: Fiscal 2020 State General Fund, Estimated (Millions); The Fiscal Survey of the States.” Spring, 2020
Low-Income Data (including disaggregation by race): National Center for Children in Poverty, “NCCP Analysis of ACS 1-year Estimates—Public Use Microdata Sample, 2019.”
State Action Data: Provided by state advocates, October-November 2020, with analysis and synthesis by Frontera Strategy for Alliance for Early Success, “Protecting Progress and Investing in Scale: The 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Education Policy.”
Additional State Actions: Mincic, Melissa,  Early Care and Education, State Budget Actions, Fiscal Year 2020. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), October 2020. 

More from Connecticut:

Allies in Connecticut Get Creative to Expand Access to Early Care and Education

When COVID-19 diverted attention away from legislative efforts to expand Connecticut’s child care subsidy, advocates adjusted their efforts and expanded services through non-legislative means. They worked to change the homelessness screening process to help families enroll in Head Start and secured CARES Act funding to provide child care to parents attending a job training program.

Read More »
The Alliance for Early Success is achieving large-scale, long-lasting change for the state’s young children by providing our allies with powerful advantages that help them shape Connecticut early childhood state policy.

Strategic, Outcomes-Focused Investments

Consulting and Strategy

Technical Support from National Expertise

Rapid Response Support

Connections/Access to Allies in Similar States

Roles in National Communities of Practice