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Governor Lamont Announces $70 Million in Appreciation Bonus Payments for Connecticut Child Care Workers

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that his administration is releasing $70 million in state funding that will be used to provide bonus payments to the staff of child care providers in Connecticut who provide safe and nurturing care to the state’s youngest infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Individual bonuses will amount to $1,000 for full-time workers and $400 for part-time workers.

The governor explained that this initiative, known as Wage Supports for Early Childhood Educators, was created to show gratitude for the service of child care workers, particularly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was included as part of the state budget bill that he signed into law earlier this year.

“Child care staff work consistently to provide critically needed care to ensure that children are safe and their parents and guardians have the support necessary to go to work,” Governor Lamont said. “They are an essential part of our economy and help make Connecticut the most family-friendly state in the country. We need to support this important industry that is vital to families, the workplace, and society.”

The initiative is being administered by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood with technical support from the United Way of Connecticut. Child care program operators will be required to apply for the funds and then disburse the payments to their child care staff. These operators will also receive funding of 10% on top of their staff payments to support supplemental staff benefits and administrative processing costs. Eligible child care staff include those who work in licensed centers, group child care homes, and family child care homes, as well as license-exempt programs that receive school readiness or child day care contract funds.

The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood today is contacting eligible child care program operators and providing them with information that contains instructions on how they can apply for the funds.

“We understand and appreciate how hard early childhood educators are working for our children and deserve to be applauded and rewarded for their dedication,” Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye said. “Their work is both critical in nature and highly valued by families in Connecticut, and these wage supports will help child care program directors recruit and retain staff.”

The state budget that Governor Lamont signed into law for the 2023 fiscal year contains an historic level of funding in child care and early childhood education, including $180 million in investments to ensure families have access to safe and reliable child care.

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