Gov. Lamont signs executive order to create panel responsible for child care plan in CT

Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order Friday in an effort to make child care in the state more accessible to all residents.
The executive order has created a Connecticut Blue Ribbon Panel on child care, and the panel will be responsible for designing a plan for the next generation of care.
The panel is made up of parents, early childhood educators, business leaders and others who have a hand in child care in the state.
"What we think about how we can continue to expand access to each and every person who needs them that needs this type of support systems, so their kid gets the very best head start in life," said Lamont.
The state is also calling on businesses to support child care for their employees offering a 25% tax credit for businesses who begin to offer support.
"Programs that are being opened on-site but also if employers are subsidizing community based childcare programs for their workers," said Beth Bye, early childhood commissioner.
A Ridgefield business is already ahead of the game - it opened up its on-site child care center in 2006.
"Having Apple Blossom here on-site is such a difference maker for parents," said Melissa Giambalvo, a working parent.
The panel hopes to be able to make a difference as well.
"It is our responsibility to create access and opportunity for those who may not have that," said Dr. Monette Ferguson, executive director at Alliance For Community Empowerment.
After their first meeting in April, the panel will hold an educational forum in May and will hold monthly meetings with the goal to have a final report by the end of the year.