Child care workers rally across Connecticut for increased public funding

Child care facilities are facing staff shortages, leading to children being placed on waiting lists without access to necessary care.

Mark Sudol

Apr 10, 2024, 4:43 PM

Updated 47 days ago


Child care workers and took to the streets Wednesday across the state to rally for increased public funding for child care.
Rallies were held in Bridgeport, Norwalk and at Stamford's Government Center.
"If more families were able to afford child care there would be more of a work force right and there would be more money in this economy," said child care worker Naria Velazquez.
"Our child care workers are the heart and soul of our community and you deserve dignity and respect and pay and benefits," said Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons.
These workers are pleading for government funding to support families, educators and child care providers.
Day cares say they are short-staffed, with kids on waiting lists who may never get the care they need.
"I have kids currently, families that have been on a waiting list for six months," said Velazquez.
The group is asking Gov. Ned Lamont and the Connecticut General Assembly to invest in long-term transformation of the early childhood care and education system, through a dedicated funding resource that ensures sustained investment.
That includes approving components of the $2 billion plan recommended by the Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel on Child Care in December 2023.
The group recommends that child care expenses be capped at 7% of annual family income, in line with federal recommendations.
"Towards the end of the year, I have to take out $100,000 loan just to make payroll," said day care owner Francheska Velazquez.
"There's been more child care centers that have been closing just because they can't afford to pay their teachers," said Naria Velazquez.
These workers say their rallies are about education. They are hoping state legislation will pass that would establish an early childhood fund to increase compensation for early educators and decrease tuition costs for families across the state.

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