HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The state is looking to take a multifaceted approach to take care of a long-term problem – to find affordable childcare for Connecticut families.
“We are still struggling to have enough affordable childcare out there which is a big problem when you have 100,000 jobs that are open,” said Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz (D).
Governor Ned Lamont announced a proposal to invest $14 million into the state’s largest child-care program helping low and moderate-income families, Care 4 Kids in 2024. Then in 2025, Gov. Ned Lamont is proposing giving the organization $53 million.
“We estimate that about 40,000 women are not in the workforce today in Connecticut because of a lack of childcare and that affects families’ economic security,” said Beth Bye, Commissioner of the Office of Early Childhood.
The proposal also includes an incentive for businesses that help employees. Any childcare cost subsidies give corporations a 25% tax credit.
Employers who build new childcare centers would also get a 25% credit for those costs.
According to the state, more than half of Connecticut families with children under five have had to alter their work life due to the high cost of childcare or not being able to find it at all.
Employees at the Friends Center for Children in New Haven told News 8 that Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposal needs more significant investment.
“[It’s] really equivalent to me trying to fix a crack foundation at my home or my house with the change in my pocket. It’s just not a reasonable amount of money for the problem that is before us,” said Ally Schiavone, executive director of Friends Center for Children.
The state is also establishing a blue-ribbon panel of about 18 people in early childhood development, philanthropy and business backgrounds to look at wages and family needs to develop a more well-rounded plan.