Parent Cabinet: Questions and Answers

What is the Parent Cabinet?

The Parent Cabinet is a diverse parent-led advisory group to the Office of Early Childhood (OEC). It meets regularly to help make improvements to the lives of children and families across the state. By working with OEC, the Parent Cabinet helps provide family perspective and guidance on how to:

  • Improve legislation and policies related to young children and their families
  • Increase authentic partnerships with families
  • Understand the needs of families from all backgrounds
  • Elevate voices from across the state — from parents and others — so they’re heard at the highest levels of state government

What are the responsibilities and requirements?

The Parent Cabinet members serve as ambassadors. They play a vital role in communicating with local groups and communities and passing on their feedback to OEC. 

Members of the parent cabinet commit to a 2-year term and take on a number of responsibilities. Over a year, members of the Parent Cabinet will spend 42 hours on their work.

Time frameMember responsibilitiesNumber of hours
Every month for 8 months of the year   Attend at least one local community group meeting to speak with families, gather data, and share OEC’s work (1 hour). Participate in or lead monthly subcommittee meetings of the Cabinet (1 hour) 16 hours per year  
4 times a year Attend the OEC Parent Cabinet meeting (3 hours) Meet with parent leaders from the local early childhood collaboratives and members of the Children’s Collective (2 hours)   20 hours per year
2 times a year Contribute to the collection of data and assist with analysis of findings, which may include assisting with distribution of surveys, conducting community cafes, etc. (6 hours)   12 hours per year

How much is the stipend?

OEC will offer a stipend to Parent Cabinet members of $25 per hour within available federal funding. Members need to complete documentation to show the work they have done. Prior to receiving any stipend payments, a W-9 must be filled out and submitted on an annual basis. More details will be provided during the interview process.

When does the Parent Cabinet meet?

Once the Parent Cabinet is active, we’ll set a regular meeting schedule. For now, the first Parent Cabinet meeting is scheduled for Fall 2021. Additional dates and details will be posted here.

Where will meetings be located and will child care offered?

There will be an opportunity to have a hybrid model of meetings. Due to Covid-19, there will be mostly virtual meetings at this time but there will be some necessary in-person meetings like onboarding. Other in-person meetings will be held both locally and potentially throughout the state. Child Care options are being explored like using stipends to cover child care and will be discussed with the Parent Cabinet.

Will there be trainings to help members understand their role?

Yes. Each member will be required to attend a full-day in-person retreat and complete a set of trainings (both virtual and in-person) like agency onboarding, Robert’s Rules of Order, State Government, etc.

How are members of the Parent Cabinet selected?

OEC will review applications in hiring teams based on a scoring rubric and select a few individuals who will move on to the interview phase, where a team consisting of an OEC staff member, a parent leader, and a community leader will meet with applicants. After that, we will conduct follow-up interviews with finalists and make our selection. Final membership announced by September 15th. The scoring rubric will measure different qualifications like parent leadership, used state services, experience in the community, etc.

When choosing members for the Cabinet, we aim to keep the membership regionally balanced and diverse. We’re making efforts to ensure membership reflects the ethnic, economic, and geographic diversity of the state.

In addition:

  • 9 members (60% of the Parent Council) are parents with young children ages birth to 5 who use OEC supports such as Care 4 Kids subsidy, Home Visiting, Birth to Three, etc.
  • 6 members (40%) are those not connected to OEC services such as parents with older children — or even interested community members, DCF connected, etc.

How can I apply?

Applications have closed as of June 28, 2021. Please stay up to date on the website as any updates will be added. The Parent Cabinet will take applications again after 2 years. Even though applications have closed, we encourage all parents or caregivers in Connecticut to get involved in any local parent and early childhood groups who will be connected to the Parent Cabinet.

Need Help?

Contact us at OEC.ParentCabinet@ct.gov  and we will respond within 1-2 business days.

The Parent Cabinet is supported by OEC staff:
Elena Trueworthy, Director of Head Start State Collaboration Office
Chenae Russell, Executive Secretary

 

Last updated October 15, 2021