Lamont Pushes Childcare Strategy


Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order March 17 requiring the development of a strategic plan to design the next generation of childcare in Connecticut.

Lamont signed the executive order at pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. The Ridgefield-based company provides onsite childcare for employees.

The order calls for the creation of a “strategic plan to ensure the state has a robust and accessible system of childcare that works for families, providers, and the state’s economy.”

Lamont also named the members of the Connecticut Blue-Ribbon Panel on Child Care, which is tasked with developing that plan. 

“One of the biggest barriers to high-quality childcare continues to be affordability, and we need to implement a system that provides quality education and care at a price that families can afford,” Lamont said.

Workforce Crisis

The panel will be chaired by Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye, and includes parents, childcare providers, education officials, business leaders, and legislators. 

They will focus on four areas: equity and access; workforce and quality; early childhood systems; and funding and costs. 

“When parents can’t afford quality childcare, they are faced with the difficult choice of whether or not they can go back to work.”

CBIA’s Chris DiPentima

“When parents can’t afford quality childcare, they are faced with the difficult choice of whether or not they can go back to work,” said CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima, who was appointed to the panel.

“If we want to solve Connecticut’s workforce crisis, we need to create solutions that will not only make childcare more affordable for businesses and families now, but also build a system that makes it so parents don’t have to make that choice.”

Funding, Incentives

It also includes a mix of state and federal resources to increase funding for Care 4 Kids, the state’s largest childcare program.

Lamont’s $50.5 billion proposed budget, released Feb. 8, includes tax credits for employers as an incentive to provide access to childcare for employees.

Lamont’s proposed budget includes incentives for employers to provide access to childcare for employees.

“Childcare is just as important as highways and bridges, broadband and the rest of the infrastructure that we have,” DiPentima said.

“I’m looking forward to working with the panel to improve that infrastructure and make Connecticut a better place to live and work.”

The blue ribbon panel will hold its first meeting in April and present its five-year strategic plan in December. 

Panel Members

The members of the panel are:

  • Chair: Beth Bye, commissioner of the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood
  • State Sen. Eric Berthel (R-Watertown), ranking member of the Education Committee
  • Audette Bisaillon, director of the ROSCCO After School Activity Program
  • Emily Byrne, executive director of Connecticut Voices for Children
  • Shawn Coyne, vice president of human resources for General Dynamics Electric Boat
  • State Rep. Jeff Currey (D-East Hartford), co-chair of the Education Committee
  • Chris DiPentima, president and CEO of CBIA
  • Jamie Eden, senior vice president of human resources and communications for Boehringer Ingelheim
  • State Rep. Kathleen McCarty (R-Waterford), ranking member of the Education Committee
  • Dr. Monette Ferguson, executive director of the Alliance for Community Empowerment
  • Diana Jepsen, community member and former communications specialist for several Fortune 500 companies, including GE, United Technologies, Cigna, and Covidien
  • Dr. William (Billy) Johnson, director of educational strategy for the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund
  • Courtney Larkin, vice president of government relations for Travelers
  • Carmelita Valencia-Daye, professor in early childhood education for Gateway Community College
  • Althea Marshall-Brooks, executive director of Waterbury Bridge to Success Community Partnership
  • State Sen. Doug McCrory (D-Hartford), co-chair of the Education Committee
  • Garrett Moran, former chairperson of the Governor’s Workforce Council and former president of Year Up
  • Kailyn Nadeau, co-director and teacher for the Norfolk Early Learning Center
  • Fran Rabinowitz, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents
  • Jessica Sager, co-founder and CEO of All Our Kin
  • Melissa Turner, chief human resources officer for the Yale New Haven Health System
  • Karen Lott, executive director of the Women’s League Child Development Center
  • Maria Del Pilar Vargas, member of the Office of Early Childhood’s Parent Cabinet and educational coach for licensed family childcare providers for United Way

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