State-Funded Early Care and Education Programs

OEC funds early care and education programs across the state through several different grants and contracts. These funds support child care programs, Head Starts, and public school preschools to provide affordable, high-quality early care and education services. Enrollment and eligibility for these services are handled by local providers. 

  • Child Day Care Contracts provide funding for infant/toddler, preschool and school age care for working families who make under 75% of the State Median Income. Learn more about Child Day Care Contracts.
  • The Even Start program uses a family literacy model. The program includes education for parents and children to support the learning of the whole family. Learn more about Even Start.
  • The School Readiness Preschool Program funds spaces for children ages 3, 4, and 5 who aren’t yet eligible for kindergarten in high-need communities. At least 60 percent of the children enrolled must be at or below 75 percent of the State Median Income. Learn more about the School Readiness Preschool Program.
  • Smart Start is a grant program that provides funding to establish or expand a preschool program in the public schools. These programs prioritize enrollment for families based on income and other factors such as housing insecurity or status as a dual language learner. Learn more about Smart Start.
  • The State Head Start Supplement grant provides additional funding to federal Head Start programs in Connecticut. The state grants support Head Start programs to expand or enhance the services they provide. Learn more about the State Head Start Supplement grant.
Last updated August 18, 2021