FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Office of Early Childhood
January 14, 2014 Contact: Diana Lejardi
Report includes recommendations to improve child care licensing
Hartford – The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC), in conjunction with the Department of Public Health (DPH), today announced the release of a report identifying strengths and weaknesses within the state’s child care licensing. The three-stage Needs Assessment conducted by the National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA), an international professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence in human care regulation and licensing, included an online survey, forums and in-depth interviews of child care providers, parents and licensing staff.
"Our child care licensing program is vital to keeping our children safe, making it especially important that the program be as effective as possible," stated Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, Executive Director of the OEC. "We initiated the process of assessing child care licensing in our state last year and will continue to work to make our system better. The findings and recommendations in the report provide us with a blueprint on how we can take steps to improve child care licensing in Connecticut."
"We thank NARA for partnering with us to complete this needs assessment of Connecticut’s child care licensing program," said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. "Their work provides a comprehensive evaluation of the essential components of an effective licensing program, and will serve as an important resource to strengthen child care licensing and ensure standards that protect Connecticut children."
The report recommends the development of a manual of internal policies and procedures as well as interpretive guides for child care regulations for licensing staff and child care providers. Additionally, the report recommends the strengthening of training programs for licensing staff and child care providers as well as regular review and updating of child care regulations.
"This report lays the foundation for future initiatives in Connecticut’s child care licensing and early childhood arena," said Dr. Jones-Taylor. "Connecticut is committed to working with NARA to address the report’s findings and recommendations."
The Needs Assessment Process included operators, providers and staff from licensed day care centers and homes, consultants, parents or guardians of children receiving child care from a licensed child care provider, and child day care licensing staff. The assessment, which began in late August and ended in December of 2013, included an online survey in English and Spanish, general forums, targeted focus sessions, and follow-up in-depth interviews of survey participants. NARA reports Connecticut is one of
only a handful of states that have voluntarily gone through such a rigorous assessment on behalf of its
children and should be commended.
The Child Day Care and Youth Camp Licensing Programs are currently administered through the Department of Public Health. The two programs are scheduled to transition to the Office of Early Childhood on July 1, 2014 as part of the Governor’s initiative to streamline and coordinate early childhood programs in the state.
To view NARA’s report, please go to www.ct.gov/oec/nara.
The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood is the state’s leader in providing a comprehensive, collaborative system for delivering improved programs and services to children from birth to five years old and their families. To contact the Office of Early Childhood, please visit our website at www.ct.gov/oec or call (860) 713-6410.