Rep. Farrar Champions Childcare Legislation

March 28, 2024

HARTFORD— Today, Representative Kate Farrar (West Hartford, Newington) hosted a press conference about H.B. 5002: An Act Concerning Early Childhood Care and Education prior to its public hearing in the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. This piece of legislation seeks to improve access to and affordability of early childhood care and education in Connecticut.

H.B. 5002 maximizes our public and private investment in early childhood care and education with the Early Childhood Care and Education Fund.

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

H.B. 5002 also proposes the Tri-Share Child Care Program. This innovative pilot program, implemented in Michigan and North Carolina, shares childcare costs among an employer, employees, and the state government.

"By prioritizing early childhood care and education, we're not merely ensuring our children's well-being; we're fortifying economic opportunities for more Connecticut families," said Speaker Matt Ritter (Hartford). "This legislation is a top priority for the House, and together, we can pave the way for a brighter, fairer future for all."

"I hear from families about the childcare crisis in my district and I know I am not alone. The cost is too high, dedicated educators can’t pay their own bills, and depending on where you live in our state, access to care can be impossible," said Rep. Farrar. "Quality and affordable childcare isn’t just essential for families but it is the infrastructure we need for our workforce and economy to thrive. By investing in the critical early years of a child’s development, we will not only see a return on that investment but build a more equitable state for generations to come.”

“Childcare providers are among the first educators for our children.  An infusion of early investments and innovation to supporting early childcare will not only stabilize our local workforce but have long-lasting impacts on a child's life and future success, and ultimately lead to an overall thriving economy. Families are the backbone of our communities and having access to affordable, quality childcare can address the challenges working households face as they adapt to the new paradigm of remote and onsite work," said Rep. Chaleski (Danbury).

“The availability and affordability of high-quality childcare is fundamental to growing our economy and providing workers and families with what they need to succeed and raise healthy well cared for children, as we saw during the pandemic. The fact that both the business community and the Connecticut Voices for Children are united in finding ways to provide this vitally important service demonstrates its importance, no matter your political or economic leanings, said Rep. Cheeseman (East Lyme, Montville, Salem), the Ranking Member of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. “Much work has gone into drafting this legislation and building a broad coalition of support, and I am hopeful that we can find a way to achieve its goals in a sustainable, fiscally responsible manner.”