Sen. Toni Boucher along with Governor Malloy Honored as Children’s Champions

June 3, 2013

Governor Malloy speaking at the Children’s Champion Awards ceremony in Hartford, Sen. Boucher is standing to his right in the pink suit.

Hartford, CT – State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) along with Governor Dannel P. Malloy was honored June 3 by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance, a statewide membership and advocacy organization committed to improving developmental outcomes in the areas of learning, health, safety and economic security for children ages birth through eight.

“I want to thank the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance for its strong advocacy surrounding pre-school education and early childhood education,” said Sen. Boucher. “An investment in this age group will give us the greatest return and help us close the widest in the nation achievement gap.”

“I especially wish to thank the Childhood Alliance along with the Connecticut Commission on Children for the research and science they have provided us, that information has helped us stay up to date and has informed our policies decision on early childhood instruction and programs,” added Sen. Boucher. “They have reminded us that 80% of learning and brain development occurs before the age of five and that if a child can’t read by the end of the 3rd grade they will have an uphill battle for later success in life. I appreciate the recognition and I also appreciate the support they have provided on our state’s top priority, success of all our children.”

Sen. Boucher received this award for her efforts to promote early childhood issues both locally in her profession and at the State Capitol. Boucher has been a strong voice in the legislature for House Bill 6359, “An Act Concerning an Early Childhood System,” and longtime supporter of Connecticut’s youngest children and their families.

“The legislators we chose to honor as Children’s Champions put young children front and center as they shape policy and engage with early childhood advocates to create the most effective early childhood policy for our state,” said Maggie Adair, Executive Director of the CT Early Childhood Alliance. “We chose to honor Governor Malloy because of his on-going commitment to Connecticut’s youngest citizens and their families. He has a vision for building a comprehensive, integrated, aligned early childhood system that works for children, their parents, their teachers, and the community at large.”

That early childhood system is outlined in House Bill 6359, which is currently making its way through the legislative process.

“Early learning sets a foundation for our young people that they will build on their entire lives – if we are going to close the achievement gap and ensure children arrive at school ready to learn, early education must be an investment and policy priority,” said Governor Malloy. “I applaud the work being done by the membership of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. In partnership with the Alliance and other stakeholders, we are establishing better, more focused programming, and transforming early childhood care and education in Connecticut.”

Boucher says the early years are extremely important in shaping a child’s future. During the 2013 Legislative Session, she strongly supported the proposal to create an Office of Early Childhood as an office with in the State Department of Education.

Senator Boucher, Senate Ranking Member of the Education and Higher Education Committees, says it takes a cooperative effort between legislators and advocates to create effective public policy.

“It is an incredible honor to be named a ‘Children’s Champion’ and to stand among these distinguished community leaders and elected officials who share my strong value and commitment to early childhood issues,” said Sen. Boucher.

Sen. Boucher also received the Children’s Champion award from the Alliance in 2012 and 2009. Sen. Boucher is a Ranking Member of both the Education Committee and Higher Education Committee and dedicates much of her time to issues involving youth programs, children’s issues and education. She has also been a chairman of Wilton Board of Education, State Board of Education and Deputy Minority Leader of the Senate and Assistant Minority Leader in the House.