Boucher is Children's Champion

State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26), the Senate ranking member on the Education Committee, was named a 2016 Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance Children’s Champion. She is one of 30 state legislators honored this year by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance, an outreach and advocacy organization.

Every year, the alliance recognizes legislators who worked closely with early childhood advocates to shape legislation that impacts the wellbeing of Connecticut’s young children in the areas of healthy development, early care, education, nutrition, and safety.

Boucher, who represents Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton, has been a champion of children’s issues throughout her legislative career.

“I am truly honored to be named a Children’s Champion,” Boucher said. “This is the sixth time I have received this honor, and each time is so special and meaningful to me. Ensuring that young children have access to quality education and healthcare has always been a top priority in my public service work. I commend the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance for its strong advocacy concerning preschool and early childhood education, and for promoting best practices in early childhood development.”

“Although much of the focus during the session was on filling holes in the state budget, a number of early childhood issues received attention,” said Merrill Gay, executive director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. “Some very important early childhood issues were raised, and some good legislation did pass.”

Among the items passed this year:

  • Repeal of the sales tax on diapers, which is set to take effect July 1, 2018;

  • House Bill 5466, which requires background checks and notice of convictions for any household member in a family child care home or group child care home.

Important issues raised included childhood obesity prevention, increased access to early childhood programs for homeless children, and recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce.