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State refocuses day care hotline to help teachers find child care as schools reopen

Hartford Courant 2020-07-31 15:36:29

The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood is refocusing a program that helped health care workers find day care facilities earlier this year do the same for board of education employees.

Working with Gov. Ned Lamont’s office and United Way of Connecticut’s 2-1-1 Child Care, the office of early childhood has launched the child care referral assistance program for public school employees.

The program is designed to help them identify child day care programs in a time when spaces are scarce due to COVID-19 restrictions.

According to Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye, there are 56% fewer openings in child care facilities due to those restrictions, and while some of those restrictions have been relaxed, the shortage remains an issue for parents and caregivers who need to return to work in Connecticut schools.

Bye said her office had heard about teachers and other school employees around the state having trouble finding child care as they prepare to return to in-person instruction next month and decided to relaunch the program that worked well for health care workers.

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“We have relationships around the state,” she said, adding that the program gives teachers help finding a day care program that is convenient for them and also helps the state identify areas where there are shortages in programs.

“We know there are challenges for finding day care, but at the same time we know there is capacity,” Bye said.

The dedicated support line for board of education employees seeking day care options can be reached by calling the 2-1-1 child care support line at 860-756-0864. The line is live now, according to Bye.