Crisco joins call for universal pre-K


Joseph Crisco
Joseph Crisco

HARTFORD — State Sen. Joseph Crisco, Jr. (D-17) added his support to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s plan to achieve universal access to pre-kindergarten in Connecticut.

“This is a commitment that Connecticut should have made a long time ago,” said Crisco in a press release. “We know that access to quality early childhood education improves academic and life achievement.”

The Governor’s plan calls for full-day pre-K opportunities for 1,020 children for fiscal year 2015, and will expand to serve a total of 4,010 additional children by 2019, according to the release. Eligibility will be based on income and will use the existing eligibility requirements for the state’s School Readiness program.

The plan will provide full-day pre-K for approximately 1,000 additional children for each of the first three years and 500 children during each of the last two years of the plan. The additional 1,020 opportunities for the coming year will become available at the beginning of the 2015 school year, the release stated.

The plan will also increase reimbursement rates for state-funded Child Day Care Centers and School Readiness programs, and provide funding for startup grants for classrooms, according to the release. The proposal calls on the Office of Early Childhood to develop a plan regarding universal pre-K access to submit to the Governor by Jan. 1, 2015.

“There will be many intricate, comprehensive arguments made in favor of this proposal in the coming months, but there is a much more basic reason to do it,” said Crisco in the release. “It is simply and undeniably the right thing to do.