Legislature Takes Major Steps on Childcare Issues


Through the advocacy and support of business groups, parents, and legislators from both sides of the aisle, the state legislature took significant steps toward addressing the childcare crisis this session.

The lack of affordable and accessible childcare has played a significant role in issues with workforce retention and recruitment, dominantly affecting women in the workforce.

The issue is particularly acute in Eastern Connecticut, considered one of the state’s childcare “deserts.”

Several proposals were recommended by the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Child Care, which CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima was appointed to last year.

CBIA convened member companies to help contribute to the final report which was released prior to this year’s legislative session.

Trishare Program

Included in those recommendations were proposals to establish a trishare childcare program, sharing the cost of services for working parents between the state, participating employers, and participating employees.

Additionally, the panel recommended growing the childcare educator pipeline throughout the state, and supporting additional funding for childcare subsidies for working families.

The House and Senate unanimously passed HB 5002, which establishes a trishare program in New London County, a private fund for childcare investments, and a one-time wage supplement for childcare educators.

The bill also creates a childcare subsidy program to increase the availability, affordability, and quality of services for working parents or caretakers.

It also establishes a private fund for businesses and organizations to invest in, which will be overseen and administered by a board made up of elected officials, the Office of Early Childhood, early childhood providers and advocates, a business representative, and parents.

In addition, the bill will administer a one-time wage supplement of $9 million to childcare educators and establish a subsidy program for working parents.

Childcare Educators

A measure expanding childcare educator workforce initiatives and promoting the establishment of more childcare facilities also won legislative approval.

SB 249 removes the sunset date from the initial pilot program and expands licensing for childcare business incubator centers to 20 additional towns throughout the state.

The bill, which also grants the Office of Early Childhood commissioner the ability to issue up to 20 additional licenses throughout the state, was incorporated into SB 14.

In addition to the push for more affordable and accessible childcare, the legislature also took on a transformative bill crafted through the recommendations of a commission convened to streamline the educator certification process.

As noted by advocates for changes to be made to the current system, it’s been nearly 30 years since significant changes were made.

The bill includes multiple provisions pushed by education and trades industry advocates to simplify the process for aspiring and existing educators to get certified, receive cross-endorsements, and utilize alternative pathways to certification.

HB 5436 drew unanimous support from the House and Senate.


Lawmakers also took on measures to explore alternative solutions for non-traditional educational pathways, notably for students in high schools, as well as connecting the state’s more than 119,000 disconnected youth with educational and career opportunities.

CBIA worked in conjunction with Dalio Education, educational and workforce development organizations, and elected officials to identify solutions for the state’s disconnected youth crisis.

HB 5437, which passed both chambers with broad bipartisan support, establishes an education mandate review advisory council, streamlines in-service educator training requirements, and creates a working group to review and make recommendations on high school graduation requirements.

Other measures that were not adopted this session included:

  • SB 108: Establish a joint study between the Department of Transportation and Office of Workforce Strategy to study the transportation barriers faced by workforce development program participants.
  • SB 106: Required the Board of Regents for Higher Education to conduct a study related to existing workforce development initiatives.
  • SB 302: Expanded the tax credit for businesses in manufacturing trades that offer Department of Labor approved apprenticeship programs with a minimum of 4,000 hours worked by the employee.
  • SB 305: Established a program through the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority that supports childcare facilities.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Paul Amarone (860.244.1978).


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