Rallies held in multiple cities to call for more investment in childcare

A stronger investment in childcare is what many parents and educators asked for during rallies in several cities on Tuesday morning.
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 12:25 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2022 at 12:32 PM EDT
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NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) - A stronger investment in childcare is what many parents and educators asked for during rallies in several cities on Tuesday morning.

Organizers called the push “Morning without Childcare.”

Groups met in Danbury, New Haven, Waterbury, Stamford, New Britain and many other areas. They hoped to call attention to what they describe as a true crisis.

The events were spearheaded by members of the Human Resources Agency.

The parents and educators gathered in New Britain made a public plea for change within the Early Childhood Care system

“We’re looking for $700 million,” said Dr. Marlo Greponne, executive director, Human Resources Agency of New Britain. “I know that sounds like a lot, but $700 million to help children across the entire state is actually a drop in the bucket compared to what is spent on many other systems across the state.”

They hoped the message was clear.

Many attendees passionately explained that they feel the system of early childhood education and care is broken.

They described a challenging cycle of not enough qualified applicants, non-competitive wages for teachers, overcrowded classrooms, and little-to-no options for families stuck on waiting lists.

“This impacts women at even a higher rate, especially single mothers,” Greponne said. “Childcare challenges have become a barrier to work. This also causes a shortage of professionals in the field.”

Supporters said if the disinvestment continues, the crisis will have catastrophic impact for years to come.

“If we don’t do something now, we’re going to see a bigger crisis,” said state Rep. Robert Sanchez, a Democrat who represents New Britain. “I’ve been saying this for years. Look people, there are legislators that don’t get it. There are some that do, but others that don’t. That’s why we need to go out there and let them know that this is very important.”