by Brent Addleman
Child-care workers in Connecticut will soon be getting bonus payments.
The Lamont administration announced Thursday afternoon that $70 million in Appreciate Bonus Payments will be distributed to child-care providers in the state. Bonuses of $1,000 will go to full-time employees of child-care providers and $400 to part-time workers through the Wage Supports for Early Childhood Educators program.
“Child-care staff work consistently to provide critically needed care to ensure that children are safe and their parents and guardians have the support necessary to go to work,” Lamont said in a release. “They are an essential part of our economy and help make Connecticut the most family-friendly state in the country. We need to support this important industry that is vital to families, the workplace, and society.”
The program, according to the release, was created in an effort for the state to show its gratitude for child-care workers and was featured as part of the most recent budget bill that was signed into law earlier this year.
The state’s Office of Early Childhood will administer the program, according to the release, with the United Way of Connecticut providing support.
Program operators, according to the release, will be mandated to apply for the funding, which will be dispersed to staff at child-care providers. Providers will also receive 10% over their staff payments in order to support supplement staff benefits and administrative costs.
According to the release, child-care staff who are eligible to receive payments include those working in licensed centers, group childcare homes, and family childcare home, in addition to license-exempt program already receiving school readiness or child daycare contract funding.
Eligible providers will be contacted by the office, according to the release.
“We understand and appreciate how hard early childhood educators are working for our children and deserve to be applauded and rewarded for their dedication,” Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye said in a release. “Their work is both critical in nature and highly valued by families in Connecticut, and these wage supports will help childcare program directors recruit and retain staff.”
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Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor of The Center Square and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.