Connecticut receives 1 out of 4 available points for expanding high-quality preschool and full-day kindergarten opportunities.
Connecticut’s early childhood program needs a Quality Rating and Improvement (QRIS) system to publicly rate the quality of early childhood programs and provide them with a track for improvement. By statute, the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) is required to develop and implement a Quality Rating and Improvement system (QRIS),1 and the OEC hired a QRIS director in 20162. While the QRIS is in development,3 the OEC has concentrated on quality improvements for early childhood providers.4 Eventually, Connecticut will need a fully operational QRIS, one that also incorporates a rating component that creates accountability for early childhood programs.
In addition to reporting on and improving the quality of early childhood programs, Connecticut is working hard to provide high-quality early childhood opportunities to all low-income students. In 2015-16, West Haven5 became the final Alliance District to implement full-day kindergarten.
Connecticut is also working to provide high-quality preschool opportunities for low-income students. Between 2012-2015, Connecticut has funded 2,030 School Readiness slots,6 and 2015 legislation expanded eligibility for these school readiness slots to all low-income preschool-aged children7. Nonetheless, thousands of low-income students still have an unmet need for preschool opportunities. The OEC is partnering with the Connecticut Economic Resource Center to report on children who need high-quality preschool. This is expected to be completed in 2016.8
(Note: This rubric has been amended since its original creation, in order to better respond to current events.9)