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Connecticut is exploring its child care options for educators and parents amid a statewide walkout

Mike Lyle
WSHU Public Radio
State Representative Robert Sanchez at the state Capitol in Hartford discussing expanding funding and resources for child care in Connecticut.

Connecticut state and local leaders are discussing ways to address significant financial issues in the state’s child care industry.

State Representative Robert Sanchez said there is a dire need for funding to raise low wages that have created a short-staffing crisis in the child care industry.

“It’s not right that we talk about quality education and we talk about these educators getting their bachelor's degrees, but when they earn them, we can’t give them the salary that they’re worth,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez was joined by state lawmakers and child advocates at the state Capitol in Hartford a day after educators and parents staged a two-hour walkout rally for more child care resources. They have asked the Lamont administration for $700 million to support facilities and offset operational costs.

At a child care forum in Stamford, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiecwicz highlighted several women-owned child care businesses that have survived the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation.

“Ninety-two percent of our child care providers here in Connecticut are women-owned businesses,” Bysiecwicz said. “They created the Child Care Business Support program, and that’s helped many of our small business providers stay in operation.”

A state report shows that just over 60% of childcare centers are barely surviving financially.

Lawmakers are expected to consider a bill that would increase wages and expand access to preschool in Connecticut on Friday.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.