The House overwhelmingly passed a bill requiring that parents and childcare providers be given 30-days’ notice before enrollment closes or eligibility requirements change for the state’s daycare subsidies.

Childcare centers say they lose money when the program closes unexpectedly because they are not reimbursed for the children they have been caring for. Sudden program changes also make it difficult for parents to find care alternatives.

David Dearborn, spokesman for the Department of Social Services, said the bill could restrict the department’s ability to avoid spending more than is allocated for the Care 4 Kids subsidy.

The bill also requires DSS launch an outreach program, if their budget allows, to raise awareness for food assistance programs — including the federally-funded SNAP food stamp and school breakfast programs.

Proponents of the bill say the state is not using the full amount of federal money available and this will help increase participation.

The bill passed the House 137-7 and now heads to the Senate for final passage.

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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