Wilton’s state Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) has been named a 2016 Children’s Champion by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. The alliance recognized 29 legislators — including Wilton Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) — for their leadership on issues that impact the well-being of Connecticut’s young children in the areas of healthy development, early care and education, nutrition, and safety.

“Although much of the focus during the session was on filling holes in the state budget, a number of early childhood issues received attention,” Merrill Gay, executive director of the alliance said in a press release.    

Among legislation passed this year was the repeal of the sales tax on diapers and 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. Issues raised included paid family and medical leave, childhood obesity prevention, increased access to early childhood programs for homeless children, and recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce.

“It’s an honor to have been selected as a Children's Champion by the CT Early Childhood Alliance," Lavielle said.  “As Ranking Member of the General Assembly's Education Committee, I remain committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to develop policies that provide children the solid foundation they need to make the most of their education and lead happy, productive lives.”

Founded in 2002, the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is a statewide organization committed to improving outcomes in the areas of learning, health, safety, and economic security for children ages birth to eight.