Blue Ribbon Panel on Child Care

Governor Lamont initiated the Blue-Ribbon Panel on Child Care by Executive Order. The Panel is charged with developing a strategic plan for a child care system that works for families, providers, and Connecticut’s economy.

Our approach and goals

The Panel will outline a data-driven, actionable, 5-year strategic plan for Connecticut that supports families, providers, and the state’s economy. It prioritizes equitable access to early care and education.

The goal is to develop an equitable, high-quality, and sustainable system that ensures that every child has a quality educational foundation that will prepare them to grow, learn, and succeed.

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Current challenges to child care in Connecticut

The Early Childhood Care and Education system is challenged by issues such as access, affordability, and quality. 

  • Parents don’t have access to the care they need at a price they can afford. They may struggle to work productively while their children are missing out on high-quality early education.
  • The current costs for child care are lower than the actual cost of quality child care — this depresses provider wages and reduces quality.
  • Like other states, Connecticut is experiencing experiencing significant workforce shortages in the Early Care and Education sector due to low wages.

However, Connecticut is highly ranked as a great place for families. The state can build on this foundation with a strong Child Care and Education plan. Connecticut can enhance family-friendliness, attracting and retaining more families.

Our process

Commissioner Beth Bye of the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) will lead the work. The Hunt Institute will lend deep expertise around planning processes, based on experience working with other states. SVP Connecticut and other consultants will also support the planning process.

Planning is divided across four work groups:

  • Equity and Access
  • Workforce and Quality
  • Systems
  • Funding and Costs

Work groups will make recommendations to the Panel, whose members will provide critical review and offer feedback on emerging plans. Recommendations will be informed by the input of stakeholders and advisors, leveraging current initiatives in Connecticut and best practices from other geographies.

The Early Childhood Cabinet, the OEC Parent Cabinet, and the OEC External Steering Committee will be essential partners, providing expertise, input, and feedback.

2023 Blue Ribbon Panel timeline

Panel meets to initiate the planning process

Panel meets monthly

Review to assess proposed plan contents

Review of the draft plan — which will be extensive to ensure broad-based feedback

Panel submits the final plan

Panel members

Panel members are parents, early childhood education experts, business leaders, higher
education, public school, and child care and education providers and legislators.

  • Senator Eric Berthel
  • Audette Bisaillon
  • Emily Byrne
  • Shawn Coyne
  • Representative Jeffrey Currey
  • Chris DiPentima
  • Jamie Eden
  • Dr. Monette Ferguson
  • Diana Jepsen
  • Dr. William Johnson
  • Courtney Larkin
  • Karen Lott
  • Althea Marshall-Brooks
  • Representative Kathleen McCarty
  • Senator Douglas McCrory
  • Garrett Moran
  • Kailyn Nadeau
  • Fran Rabinowitz
  • Jessica Sager
  • Melissa Turner
  • Carmelita Valencia-Daye
  • Maria Vargas
We want to hear your opinion!

We believe that success of this plan depends on broad-based input and support of Connecticut’s families, providers, employers, and community members. Get involved!

Follow updates to the panel’s work on this webpage: We’re committed to transparency and accountability.

Attend a public listening session: We’re holding them on May 19, June 8, July 6, August 3, and November 9. We’ll post more details on this page.

Last updated March 17, 2023