December 2016

The State of Early Childhood 2015

Nicole Updegrove, Rachel Leventhal-Weiner, Sarah Iverson, Jennifer Fredericks, and Daniel Long

A new edition of our State of Early Childhood report, which looks at funding and program developments through Fiscal Year 2015. Our main findings are:

  • Unequal access to childcare. A third of kindergarteners in the state's poorest school districts never attended preschool, compared with just 2% of children in the wealthiest districts.

  • Increasing child poverty and high costs of childcare. While the overall population of children under five in Connecticut has decreased by 5% since 2010, the number of young children in poverty has increased by 8%. In 2015, 30,000 children under five (16.3% of all young children) were living in poverty. While child poverty is increasing, costs of childcare remain high (center care costs $13,800 for infants and $11,500 for 4 year olds, on average).

  • Increased spending but persistent unmet needs, declining number of home daycare providers. The number of licensed centers and home daycare facilities across the state has been steadily falling at a rate of about 100 closures per year. Most of those losses have been concentrated within home daycare providers, which tend to serve low-income children, especially infants and toddlers.

  • Improvements in coordination and support with the formation of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood (OEC), but a need to improve teacher training and compensation.

Issue Area:
Early Care