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CT panel outlines 5-year strategic plan for child care

FILE: "A Morning Without Childcare" in New Haven in March highlighted the struggles faced by providers, parents, and teachers.
Molly Ingram
"A Morning Without Childcare" in New Haven.

The Connecticut Blue Ribbon Panel on Child Care met for the last time on Wednesday.

The panel was created by Governor Ned Lamont earlier this year. It was tasked with planning for the next five years of early childcare in the state.

Lamont said the panel did more in six months than most similar panels do in three years.

“Thank you for not just defining a problem, but giving us some actionable things that we can take back to work with the legislature, see how we can continue to expand what we're trying to do,” Lamont said.

On Wednesday, the panel discussed the final draft of their plan outline. The outline will be used to develop a final report.

The panel’s final plan outline is centered around four goals. They include recruiting and retaining quality staff, making childcare equitable and affordable and building a sustainable funding model.

Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye led the panel. She said the group relied on feedback from more than 3,000 providers, parents and advocates.

“I think the panel has done their best to address the parts of the system that we can,” Bye said. “It's been widely shared with partners from around the country. And there'll be important conversations with the state legislature, and also with Congress.”

Their final report will be delivered to Lamont in December.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.