Your Voice

Connecticut is drafting a plan for a comprehensive early childhood system. What is the one piece of advice you would give the planning team?

We all have a role to play in supporting the development and growth of our children, the future of our state. This page is one way for you to connect with others. We hope you will share your thoughts. 

Focus on what's best for children and be ready to support your position with hard data and soft success stories. Parents know their children best. Be prepared to integrate the parent voice with the same level of respect you give other "experts" in the process. Planning is great but implementation & evaluation are better! Make this a plan that doesn't sit on a shelf but breathes new life into old efforts. —Dawn H-B
Build upon the great work that has already been done in Connecticut, at the state and local levels, and incorporate opportunities for course corrections. The plan should be grounded in what we know and be able to adapt to changes as they arise. —Dave M
As you plan, plan for all our children. Connecticut is such a state of contrasts - with so many of our children, in EVERY town and city, living with challenges that most of us will never know first hand nor appreciate. Be their voice, especially, for what they and their families need. And in doing so, help the rest of us to better understand and cherish them - so that, we, too, can more effectively advocate for and with them. —David K
Be sure to continue to include local councils and local decision-making in the plan. Councils know what is best for and what will work well in their community. They have brought important agencies, institutions and local leaders - including mayors and superintendents - into the work, bringing much attention, energy and focus on the importance of early childhood. —Chris F
As we look to plan, develop, and execute a system that works for all diverse children and parents from various walks of life...let's think about how we continue to be inclusive during this process, while fostering culturally sensitive environments hand in hand with all stakeholders who care about children. The best reason in the world for community, home and school to work together is for our most vulnerable and precious children of Connecticut. Come join our movement of change! —Marilyn C
Racial Change in the Hartford Region, 1900-2010:There were several tnhigs which stood out to me from this map. In 2010, the white population in Hartford was no more than 40% in central areas around the city (Such as Parkville, and Clay Arsenal). There is a drastic increase in the white population, as we veer over to the west side of the city. On the Hartford/West Hartford town-line (Prospect ave.) the White population is above 60 % in some cases reaching 98% as can be seen in the area around Elizabeth Park and Fern street.In 1970, the majority of people of color lived in the North End of Hartford (north of Homestead ave.) Currently, there is still a large population of African Americans and People of West Indian Descent living in the north end, and more people of Hispanic and/or Latin American (non-white) descent living on the south end of Hartford. I found it particularly interesting that between 1970 and 1990, more and more “non-white” people began to move into central parts of the city, extending way out of the north end, and the white population was pushed out to either the far west of the city (West Hartford) or the far east of the city (East Hartford).School District Boundary Comparison Viewer:In the next map I reviewed, I focused on comparing the Hartford School district (schools only in Hartford) to the Bridgeport School District (schools in Bridgeport and New Haven.) The Hartford school district covers about 19 sq. Mi and includes 36 schools (elementary-high school). The Bridgeport School district in total covers about 20 sq. mi and also includes 36 schools. The Bridgeport school district has on average 19, 853 students enrolled. The Hartford Public School district is comprised of about 20, 161 students. According to, The Hartford School district ranks 157th of 165 districts in Connecticut. Bridgeport ranks 161st. Hartford is ranked 25th in elementary schools, 2nd in middle schools and 8th in High Schools. Bridgeport is ranked 26th in Elementary schools and 3rd in high schools (no information provided on Middle schools.)One important issue I hope to have addressed in this course is the correlation between poverty level and school achievement. In Bridgeport, 18.4% of people are living below the poverty line. In Hartford, 30.6% of people are living below the poverty line, yet Hartford’s school system seems to be doing better than Bridgeport’s school system. —Leonardo