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New Legislation Aids Early Childhood Education in CT

Adds more preschool slots, funding for facilities

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Stamford, CT | Added on July 02, 2014 At 06:41 PM

More children in Connecticut will now have access to early education thanks to efforts made by state legislators.

“Last session, Child Learning Center asked the delegation to work for expanding extra slots for the early childhood system that they have here at CLC,” says Senator Carlo Leone (D-27)

Senator Leone was one of several Stamford legislators who worked to accomplish this and more. They helped pass legislation that secured funding for preschool facilities and the creation of over 1,000 new slots in early education programs across the State, including in Stamford.

“We will be adding 37 slots which are essentially two additional classrooms,” says Marc Jaffe, Interim Executive Director at CLC Childcare Learning Centers in Stamford. “And the building that we will be renovating will house four additional classrooms; so it will allow us to have some additional capacity which is critical because we are full up,”

“The plan is to add 4,000 slots over the next four years,” says Merrill Gay, Executive Director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. “So this first thousand was the down payment on that.”

On Wednesday, Leone and his colleagues were recognized for their efforts at the City’s Palmer’s Hill Child Development Center.

“The Early Childhood Alliance each year recognizes legislators who went above and beyond their colleagues in supporting early childhood issues,” says Gay.

“The younger we get them and the more that we give them in terms of a base to build upon for their future, the more successful they’ll be, and that’s what we want as a society,” Leone.

The legislation, signed by Governor Malloy last month, also created an Office of Early Childhood agency dedicated to improving the early education system and a Smart Start program, which will provide grants to school districts with an unmet need for preschool programs.

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