Early Childhood Advocates Unite

State Budget Cuts May Impact Viability of State’s Early Childhood Collaboratives

Contact Legislators Today; Early Childhood Advocacy Day is Wednesday at State Capitol

New Britain, Conn., April 14, 2015 – The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain is calling upon friends, supporters and the community at large to rally against projected cuts in the fiscal year 2015-2016 state budget that threaten the viability of some 41 early childhood collaboratives statewide, including two local programs funded by the Community Foundation.

The Foundation is asking supporters to contact their local legislators by utilizing the suggested e-mail and legislator contact information below. Supporters may also consider taking part in this Wednesday’s Early Childhood Advocacy Day activities at the State Capitol beginning at 9:30 a.m. The day includes a program on the budget and meetings with legislators. If you are interested, please RSVP today by contacting Samantha Dynowski with the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance at dynowski.ceca@gmail.com, or call 860-819-3647.

The Coalition for New Britain‘s Youth and the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington – two flagship programs with a track record of enormous success in positively impacting the lives of local children and families, and which are part of the Community Foundation’s signature First Years First early childhood development initiative – are among the groups that would be severely impacted by the proposed elimination of $899,000 in state funding.

According to Jim Williamson, president of the Community Foundation, the impact of the proposed budget cuts would go far beyond the initial $899,000 line item.

“This $899,000 in state funding, in fact, is the catalyst for a series of matching funds and grants totaling more than $12 million in support of Connecticut’s children. That’s a remarkable 13-1 return on this investment,” said Williamson. “Without this critical core funding from the state, the very viability of these important programs is in question.”

How You Can Help

The Community Foundation wants to make it easy for you to contact legislators representing Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington to support restoration of this funding. We have prepared a brief e-mail in support of this funding (below) for your use; simply copy and paste the text into your e-mail program and send to your legislators.

Your legislators and the local Foundation service area towns they represent are listed below. For more detailed information about the Connecticut General Assembly and your legislators, visit www.cga.ct.gov.

Senator Terry Gerratana (Berlin, New Britain):  gerratana@senatedems.ct.gov
Senator Joe Markley (Southington): joe@joemarkley.com
Rep. Peter Tercyak (New Britain): peter.tercyak@cga.ct.gov
Rep. Joseph Aresimowicz (Berlin, Southington): joe.aresimowicz.cga.ct.gov
Rep. Betty Boukus (Plainville, New Britain): betty.boukus@cga.ct.gov
Rep. Rick Lopes (New Britain): rick.lopes@cga.ct.gov
Rep. Bobby Sanchez (New Britain): bobby.sanchez@cga.ct.gov
Rep. Rob Sampson (Southington): rob.sampson@housegop.ct.gov
Rep. David Zoni (Southington): david.zoni@cga.ct.gov

E-Mail to Your Legislators (copy and paste into your e-mail program)

Dear (insert legislator’s name):  As a resident of (insert your town) and supporter of the work of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, I am writing to ask you to support restoration of $899,000 in state funding to the budget of the Office of Early Childhood. This funding has been used to support the state’s 41 Local Early Childhood Collaboratives (LECCs), including two in our area, the Coalition for New Britain’s Youth and the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington, and is vitally needed.

Statewide, local financial support for the LECCs has more than doubled in two years to $1.2 million. Combined with more than $1 million from the William C. Graustein Memorial Fund and the Children’s Fund of Connecticut, this means a $2.45 match for every state dollar. When $10 Million in local public/private funding for programs stimulated by the LECCs and their Community Plans are included, this modest state investment produces an amazing $13-to-$1 return.

Like many other Funders throughout the state, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain – which represents Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington – has recognized LECCs as key vehicles for investments in early childhood and family engagement. The LECCs provide us all with efficient vehicles to effectively pilot innovation and leverage our tax and philanthropic dollars. These opportunities should not be lost.

Thank you.