Report by Paula Antolini
July 6, 2018 7:36PM EDT
Photo: Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance Executive Director Merrill Gay and children from the Wilton Family YMCA’s Camp to Come to program present Sen. Toni Boucher with the Children’s Champion Award.
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State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) was recently named a 2018 Children’s Champion by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance (CECA). The award is given to legislators who demonstrate leadership on issues that impact the well-being of Connecticut’s young children in the areas of healthy development, early care and education, nutrition, and safety.
“Education and issues affecting children are the reasons I became involved in government in the first place. They will always be my passion and the key to the future of this state and nation,” Sen. Boucher said. “I am humbled to again receive the Children’s Champion Award from the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. This organization does so much to ensure that all of Connecticut’s children are prepared and have the best opportunity to learn and succeed. I have so much respect for the work they do and am honored that they consider me an ally.”
Now the Co-Chair of the legislature’s Education Committee, Sen. Boucher began her political career as a member of the Wilton Board of Education. She also has served as a member of the Connecticut State Board of Education.
“Each of the legislators we’re recognizing this year stood up for children to protect funding for child care or to push policy change that supports families with children,” said Merrill Gay, Executive Director of the Alliance.
Approved legislation supported by CECA includes:
- Making it easier for homeless families to obtain child care
- Allowing the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) to prioritize infants and toddlers on the Care4Kids wait list
- Making it easier for the OEC to adjust provider rates for School Readiness and state-funded centers
- Mandating insurance coverage of pregnancy and immunizations
“We now know so much more about early childhood education. Getting a good start early in life greatly improves a child’s chances of success. Close to 80% of a child’s brain develops from 0-5 years old!” Sen. Boucher said. “A brighter for our children is a brighter future for our state.”
Sen. Boucher represents the communities of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.