A Collective Spotlight on New Britain

The Connecticut Children’s Collective partners with local early childhood collaboratives from across the state that are doing amazing, innovative, system-changing work. In 2023 we are starting a new series, the Collective Spotlight. We will talk with directors, staff, parents, and community members who have created, improved, or brought awareness to programs and services that will better serve the children and families in their community, as well as the entire state– by sharing and learning from others, we begin to break down silos, and form a stronger, more forward moving, and innovative community of practice. ALL of our LECCs are dedicated, hardworking, professional who are committed to improving the lives of children. They all deserve a spotlight, and the Collective intends to shine one on them. This month we illuminate New Britain. Please read below, and watch a more in-depth interview between Barbara Vita, Coordinator of the CT Children’s Collective, Tracey Madden-Hennessey, Executive Director of the YWCA New Britain, and Nicole Villanueva, Coordinator of the Childcare Incubator. This didn’t happen overnight– it took years of planning and persistence– Congratulations to all those involved!

YWCA New Britain’s Family Childcare Incubator addresses the lack of affordable, quality childcare, as well as empowering female entrepreneurs. It is currently the only model in the country that supports and instructs individuals in the operation of their own family childcare business, assists in the establishment of that business for a period of years and trains the female entrepreneurs to successfully transition to an independent location. This concept directly addresses equity and increases financial resources for women of color in our community, who are the majority of childcare providers in urban communities. The Family Childcare Incubator Model helps resolve
many barriers to success. Participants complete financial and business management training and receive assistance with accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children. For children 3 years old and younger, there are 11 children for each available childcare slot. This program meets the needs of a range of populations, including English language learners, low-income families, infants and toddlers and children with  special needs. The smaller size of the setting provides children who would find a group size of 20 children overwhelming, greater success in groups of no more than 6-9 children. The Childcare Incubator was developed under the leadership of Tracey Madden-Hennessey, YWCA New Britain Executive Director, and the Coalition for New Britain’s Youth Development. The project was awarded The Saul Zaentz Prize by Harvard University, for innovation in the early childhood field.  ~ YWCA New Break


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