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Some of Southington’s State Legislators held a Town Hall meeting last night and Joanne Kelleher, the ECCS Director, was there representing the town’s young children. She gave a brief presentation that highlighted the demographics of the town from an early childhood perspective and asked for support of early childhood issues. Here is a more information about those demographics.
The ECCS tracks statistics about young children in their Community Plan . The data included in this Plan is the most recent available. It showcases “headline indicators” that the ECCS is tracking to see how the programs and support services that are being implemented throughout the community are improving the lives and education of Southington’s young children.
The annual birth rate in Southington has ranged from 469 in 2004 to 332 in 2013, and has been overall declining over the last 10 years. But the Southington School system is seeing an influx of families with school age children moving into town due to the reasonable rents and quality of the schools. There are currently 6,605 youth enrolled in Southington Public Schools, 405 in kindergarten.
Embedded throughout the ECCS Community Plan, the data shows that an increasing number of Southington families are facing challenges, including economic difficulties and language barriers resulting in what has been called “two Southingtons.”
Southington has four Title 1 schools receiving federal funds for Title 1 students. Title 1 is the largest federally funded educational program. The program provides supplemental funds to school districts to assist schools with the highest student concentrations of poverty to meet school educational goals.
Care 4 Kids helps low to moderate income families in Connecticut pay for child care costs. This program is sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood. Here are utilization numbers for the towns covered by our State Senator as of June 2016, prior to eligibility cuts to the program, and October 2016, the most recent data available. The ECCS is a member of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. A copy of their 2017 legislative priorities, including reopening the Care 4 Kids program, is here.
At the end of the evening the State Legislators were given a package that contained all of this information and more details about the work of the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington.
If you would like to learn more about issues of childcare and poverty at the State of Connecticut level, read this report, The State of Early Childhood 2015, from the Connecticut Voice for Children.