Standing near the slide at a school playground in West Hartford, Conn., Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Thursday outlined a $12 million proposal to increase access to preschool and improve the quality of early childhood programs.
"Early childhood education is a crucial part of our entire educational system," Malloy said at a news conference at the School for Young Children at St. Joseph College. "We must expand access and coordinate educational systems to encompass early childhood health, nutrition and development."
Malloy, who has been rolling out components of his education package this week, wants the state to spend $4 million to provide preschool to 500 more children whose families can't afford it and $5 million in bond funding to create a quality rating system for daycare and preschool programs.
The quality rating system would allow parents to see how well a program is doing before enrolling a child.
"We believe a rating system is highly appropriate as a way to bring about increased quality," Malloy said. Stars and letter grades are commonly used in other states.
The governor's proposal also includes $3 million to give people who work with young children — including nonprofessionals — more opportunities and incentives for training, including scholarships, tuition reimbursements and technical assistance for at-home child-care providers.