Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced on Thursday a $12 million proposal to improve early childhood education programs, according to the Hartford Courant.
Malloy's proposal includes $4 million to send 500 children from low-income families to preschool, $5 million in bond funding to create a statewide Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (TQRIS) and $3 million to give both professionals and non-professionals incentives to continue their early childhood education training.
According to the Courant, the proposal was mostly drawn from the state's federal "Race to the Top" application, which deemed unsuccessful last year.
“I’ve spoken of the importance of early childhood education for many years now,” Malloy said in a statement. “When I was mayor of , we led the way in making pre-k available to every child. Every childhood provider and the educators who run their programs need and deserve more support from the state. The work they do is critical to our children’s future, and indeed the future of our whole state.”
Malloy hopes the 500 open preschool slots in his proposal will be filled in time for the students to start class in September, according the Courant.
In a release Saturday, the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance applauded the governor's initiative, saying that the governor’s plan will increase slots, invest in professional development and create a quality rating system that allows families to choose the best program for their children.
“The governor’s plan demonstrates his passion and commitment to building a solid foundation for young children in Connecticut,” Maggie Adair, CT Early Childhood Alliance executive director said in the release. “The proposal both increases access and improves quality of early childhood programs in Connecticut. Investing in early childhood is critical to prepare young childrento succeed and close the achievement gap.”
The Connecticut Education Association's "View from a Classroom" report, , included two proposals that match Malloy's plan for improving the state's public school system — expanded support for preschool programs and full-day kindergarten.