Celebrating the Signing of HB 5002 Into Law

June 6, 2024

HARTFORD – State Representative Kate Farrar (D -West Hartford, Newington)  celebrates the signing of Public Act 24-91: An Act Concerning Early Childhood Care and Education, into law by Governor Ned Lamont on Tuesday.

This comprehensive law will help improve access to and affordability of early childhood care and education.

The law maximizes the public and private investment in early childhood care and education through the Early Childhood Care and Education Fund.

The law establishes the Early Childhood Care and Education Fund Advisory Commission, which will develop a strategic plan for the next five years. The commission will also make recommendations for investments in early childhood and education and provide reports on the financial status of the fund.

In addition, PA 24-91 proposes the Tri-Share Child Care Program for a pilot initiative in New London County. This innovative program, implemented in Michigan and North Carolina, shares childcare costs among an employer, employees, and the state government.

Finally, in recognition of the current low pay for childcare workers, the bill establishes a wage supplement program for all teachers in state-funded childcare and school readiness programs.

"The cost of childcare is too high, dedicated educators can’t afford their own bills, and depending on where you live in our state, access to care can simply be impossible,” Rep. Farrar said. “I am so proud to see this bill become law, to bolster our state investment in early childhood education, and to recognize it as essential infrastructure for our workforce and economy. This is an important step forward for our children, our families and our economy to thrive."

"Rep. Farrar has shown extraordinary dedication and leadership in championing this legislation, and her efforts have been instrumental in this bill becoming law,” Speaker of the House Matt Ritter said. “Investing in our youngest citizens will help us lay the foundation for their future success."

"This new law is an economic development bill for Connecticut. Many families find themselves having to pay the equivalent of a second rent or mortgage payment for childcare. And although, the state Department of Labor earlier this year reported that there are 94,000 open jobs in Connecticut, thousands of parents can’t find affordable childcare to take those available jobs," said State Representative Holly Cheeseman (R-East Lyme, Montville, Salem), the Ranking House Member of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. "This impact has real economic ramifications, and this law will go far to help parents and employers alike."

"Danbury residents have held rallies annually to mark A Day Without Childcare and for years it seems their voices have fallen on deaf ears. I'm glad this bill received unanimous support in both House and Senate and has now become law, and will open the door to additional sources of funds to support early childcare, support our working families, stabilize our local workforce, assist businesses and, most importantly, have long-lasting impacts on a child's life and future success. All of these contribute to an overall healthy economy,” said State Representative Rachel Chaleski (R-Danbury).

Rep. Farrar represents the 20th District of West Hartford. She is a member of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, Vice Chair of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, and Transportation Committee.