Substitute House Bill No. 6931

Public Act No. 01-206

AN ACT CONCERNING EDUCATION AND EQUITABLE WAGES FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 17b-733 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Department of Social Services shall be the lead agency for child day care services in Connecticut. The department shall: (1) Identify, annually, existing child day care services and maintain an inventory of all available services; (2) provide technical assistance to corporations and private agencies in the development and expansion of child day care services for families at all income levels, including families of their employees and clients; (3) study and identify funding sources available for child day care including federal funds and tax benefits; (4) study the cost and availability of liability insurance for child day care providers; (5) provide, in conjunction with the Departments of Education and Higher Education, ongoing training for child day care providers including preparing videotaped workshops and distributing them to cable stations for broadcast on public access stations, and seek private donations to fund such training; (6) encourage child day care services to obtain accreditation; (7) develop a range of financing options for child care services, including the use of a tax-exempt bond program, a loan guarantee program and establishing a direct revolving loan program; (8) promote the colocation of child day care and school readiness programs pursuant to section 4b-31; (9) establish a performance-based evaluation system; (10) develop for recommendation to the Governor and the General Assembly measures to provide incentives for the private sector to develop and support expanded child day care services; (11) provide, within available funds and in conjunction with the temporary family assistance program as defined in section 17b-680, child day care to public assistance recipients; (12) develop and implement, with the assistance of the Child Day Care Council and the Departments of Public Health, Social Services, Education, Children and Families, Economic and Community Development and Consumer Protection, a state-wide coordinated child day care training system for providers and staff in child day care centers, group day care homes and family day care homes; (13) plan and implement a unit cost reimbursement system for state-funded child day care services; [and] (14) develop, within available funds, initiatives to increase compensation paid to child day care providers for educational opportunities, including, but not limited to, (A) incentives for educational advancement paid to persons employed by child day care centers receiving state or federal funds, and (B) support for the establishment and implementation by the Labor Commissioner of apprenticeship programs for child day care workers pursuant to sections 31-51a to 31-51e, inclusive, which programs shall be jointly administered by labor and management trustees; (15) evaluate the effectiveness of any initiatives developed pursuant to subdivision (14) of this section in improving staff retention rates and the quality of education and care provided to children; and (16) report annually to the Governor and the General Assembly on the status of child day care in Connecticut. Such report shall include (A) an itemization of the allocation of state and federal funds for child care programs; (B) the number of children served under each program so funded; (C) the number and type of such programs, providers and support personnel; (D) state activities to encourage partnership between the public and private sectors; (E) average payments issued by the state for both part-time and full-time child care; (F) range of family income and percentages served within each range by such programs; and (G) age range of children served.

Approved July 13, 2001