Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood has completed the distribution of $70 million in state funding that was allocated by the governor and the state legislature in the most recently enacted state budget for bonus payments to the staff of child care and early childhood education providers statewide in Connecticut.
The initiative, known as Wage Supports for Early Childhood Educators, is intended to help stabilize the child care industry and support its workforce, which has historically been underpaid across the nation. Governor Lamont has been eager to uplift this essential workforce with the goal of retaining staff in childcare centers and homes. Approximately 21,000 early childhood educators and staff statewide are receiving the bonus payments.
The Office of Early Childhood, with technical and customer support from the United Way of Connecticut, distributed the funding in two phases. The first phase totaled $15 million and was completed in the fall of 2022. The second and final phase totaled $55 million and completed this month. Payments were made by the state to the operators of the child care and early childhood education providers, which had to apply for the funding and then are responsible for distributing the bonus payments to their staff. The final phase includes a guaranteed per-person bonus payment based on the hours child care staff work. Full-time employees receive a $1,700 base payment and part-time employees receive a $650 base payment. Staff and programs can receive additional funds based on meeting specific criterial, such as certain Office of Early Childhood licensing, accreditation, and program participation in the Care 4 Kids program.
Governor Lamont and Commissioner Bye today visited Bloomfield Preschool and Childcare Center, one of the many providers in the state that are receiving funding for their staff under this initiative, where they held a news conference to announce the distribution of this funding.
For more information about the Wage Supports for Early Childhood Educators initiative, visit www.ctoec.org/wage-supports-for-early-childhood-educators.