WILTON, Conn. -- Kids from the greater Danbury area gathered to salute state. Sen. Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) for her work to help children across the state.
The kids, who are enrolled at the YMCA's Children's Center in Bethel, enjoyed a visit Monday, July 28, with Boucher, who represents Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton in the state legislature.
Boucher is one of 25 state legislators recognized by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance as a Children's Champion. The legislators made "Connecticut’s young children and their families a priority this session," the alliance said.
“Children are our future, and early childhood education and support programs are key to helping individuals reach their true potential throughout life,” said Boucher. “Over the years, I have committed myself to initiating and supporting legislation that advances early childhood development, protects the health and wellbeing of young people, and promotes education at a young age.
"I thank the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance for all their work in support of our common goals and appreciate so deeply the award they have shared with me today.”
Each year, the alliance seeks nominees from its membership, taking into account active assistance during the legislative session on issues that are of interest to the membership, as well as availability and access for constituents. This year’s nominees proved they put young children front and center as they shaped legislation and engaged with early childhood advocates to create the most effective early childhood policy for Connecticut, the alliance said.
This year has been a successful year for early childhood, with the passage of the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, planning for universal access for preschool, expanding School Readiness, increasing rates for School Readiness and child development centers; and budget increases for Care4Kids and full-day, full-year rates for state-funded programs.
“For years, we’ve worked with legislators to make early childhood a priority issue, both at the Capitol and in the districts, and we’re seeing results of that work,” said Karen Rainville, Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance co-chair and the executive director of Connecticut Association for the Education of Young Children. “The Children’s Champions stepped up this year for their youngest constituents.”
Photo identifications: Sen. Toni Boucher (front) with (from left) Jennifer Pane, Regional Y of Western Connecticut Branch Director; Jill Crimi, Regional Y of Western Connecticut Early Childhood Director; Michele Burbage, Regional Y of Western Connecticut Before & After School Director; Samantha Dynowski, Director of Outreach and Advocacy, Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance; and Marie Miszewski, Regional Y of Western Connecticut chief executive officer.