OEC’s Parent Cabinet Inaugural Press Event

On April 7, 2022 during the Week of the Young Child, the Office of Early Childhood officially launched their statewide Parent Cabinet. All fifteen Cabinet members were present at the celebration in downtown Hartford. It was truly a joyous occasion knowing that Connecticut is leading the nation in true policy-making collaboration with parents; the system we are building co-creates programs with, not just for parents.

The Connecticut Children’s Collective has been instrumental in the planning and facilitation of the Parent Cabinet by providing Parent Ambassadors from over twenty communities across Connecticut, who will inform Cabinet members of the successes and specific needs in their communities, creating a communication loop, that will rest at the legislature. We are proud and grateful for our local collaborative partners who have given their commitment in ensuring that parents’ voices are finally heard.

Lance Reynolds of the Republican-American wrote:

The Parent Cabinet is helping early childhood officials focus on what supports parents need and how to strengthen existing supports, including Care 4 Kids, which helps low- to moderate- income families pay for child-care costs, and Birth-to-Three, a program for children under 3 with developmental delays. Nine cabinet members receive such support for their children under age 5. Each of the 15 members serves two-year terms.

Connecticut Children’s Collective, a network of local partnerships in the state, and Early Childhood Funder Collaboration, a group of 16 financial backers, pushed the Office of Early Childhood to focus on families and listen to their needs, Commissioner Beth Bye said.

Bye’s office received support from a group of parents who helped design the cabinet, including reviewing applications and interviewing candidates. The group spent more than a year-and-a-half selecting the cabinet, ensuring each of the state’s six regions had at least two members representing different demographics.

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