In The News

Starting Early / Starting Now Summit


Approximately 100 early child professionals and policymakers gathered at the Starting Early / Starting Now: Designing Policy for the Best Start in Life for Connecticut's Children working summit on November 5, 2015 in West Hartford.  The summit was designed to spark ideas and strategies for translating research on early childhood experiences and infant attachment into effective policy solutions. The Connecticut Early Childhood Funders Collaborative (a project of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy) sponsored the summit, in partnership with Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI) and The Connecticut Mirror.

The Starting Early / Starting Now summit was inspired by Arielle Levin Becker’s series, Starting Early: The Long Reach of Childhood Trauma, published online by the Connecticut Mirror in January 2015. Her series highlights years of research on how early childhood experiences, both good and bad, alter a child’s life-long outcomes and affect the health of our collective communities. 

The summit on November 5th began with a panel discussion moderated by Becker that focused on aligning science and policy. Panelists included: 

  • Commissioner Myra Jones-Taylor, Office of Early Childhood
  • Commissioner Roderick Bremby, Department of Social Services
  • Judith Meyers, President & CEO, Child Health & Development Institute
  • Megan Smith, Assistant Professor, Yale University

Summit attendees then spent time in working groups to consider policies and strategies to foster the best start in life for Connecticut's children. The keynote speaker, Julie Sweetland, Director of Learning with the FrameWorks Institute, helped participants understand challenges and opportunities to advance the conversation with the public and policymakers, based on their research about how the public thinks about early childhood development and mental health.

View photos from the Starting Early / Starting Now summit.

Read a recap of the panel discussion from the CT Mirror and watch CT-N video of the welcome and panel discussion. 


 What can Connecticut learn from other states?


View a clip from the Starting Early / Starting Now summit panel discussion on November 5th. CHDI's Judith Meyers responds to the question: "Are there policies or programs in other states that Connecticut can learn from?" Meyers highlights policies from other states including: universal paid family leave (California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Washington, DC), Family Impact Statements (Indiana), universal home visiting (Maine), support of breast feeding (15 states offer Medicaid reimbursement for lactation consultants), infant mental health workforce development (Connecticut and 21 other states), and TANF policy changes related to: lengthening the exemption period (removing the family cap, and allowing home visiting services to count as work time).