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A Winning Strategy for Kids, Parents, Childcare Providers – and CT

November 29, 2011

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A bright spot in the Connecticut economy is the financial contributions that come from low-income women who get training as home day-care providers, according to a new study, and it's a bright spot for the children, too. The Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis says that from 2006 to 2009, the "All Our Kin" training and licensing program helped launch child care businesses that have added more than $18 million in tax revenue.

Jessica Sager, co-founder and executive director of All Our Kin, explains that includes taxes on income earned by the providers, and by parents who could then go to work.

"It's not just that the providers earn more money; it's that they provide a valuable service that really makes it possible for lots and lots of other people to succeed in the workforce."

She adds that it's important to keep the focus on the children who, without well-trained caregivers, might otherwise be at risk.

The program has licensed just over 200 providers so far, and almost all are Latina and African American women.

Lushanna Thompson, a Hamden mother of four older children who is a licensed home day care provider and who cares for six preschoolers, says All Our Kin's "Tool Kit" program was invaluable.

"They walk you through a process from start to finish, and then you call and get your inspection and you end up getting your license, if everything is right."

She says she won't get rich as a child care provider, but she is making a living doing something she loves.

Jessica Sager says that since 1999 All Our Kin has been identifying women in the New Haven area who care for children in their homes.

"And they're an incredible resource to the community, but they're under-resourced and they're under-trained. So, what we do is invest in these women as teachers and businesspeople."

Ultimately, it's the children who benefit from the training and materials, says Sager.

"For all of us as a society, it behooves us to think about investing in the quality and sustainability of care, so that these children get what they need to be successful."

The program has also provided training to caregivers in Norwalk and Bridgeport, and is looking to expand to other parts of the state.

See the study at bit.ly/vpOG7H.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT