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Young Children


The recent explosion of brain development research confirms the critical importance of high quality, safe and nurturing early learning experiences to subsequent school success and lifelong achievements.

The City of Hartford has a longstanding commitment to early childhood education and interventions. It is the first municipality in the State to implement a citywide Early Childhood Blueprint and the only city to establish a department, endorsed by City Council, to oversee Hartford’s early childhood initiative. To ensure early childhood education remains at the forefront, Mayor Luke Bronin convened a Cabinet for Young Children to establish and coordinate policy that guides the Division for Young Children’s day-to-day operations. 

Since 1997, the state has awarded Hartford millions of dollars each year to provide access to affordable, high quality, infant, toddler and preschool programs. Most notably, Hartford’s School Readiness Program receives nearly $12 million annually in state funds to contract with seventeen organizations on behalf of over 1,500 Hartford preschool children. In addition, the Division for Young Children administers three Early Learning Centers located throughout the City, facilitates a coordinated citywide professional development initiative, oversees a federal food nutrition program for home child care providers and its Early Learning Centers, created highly sought-out publications used by providers throughout the state, convenes Early Childhood Network meetings for providers serving infants, toddlers and preschool age children, and partners with the City’s Metro Hartford Information Services (MHIS) to administer a citywide early childhood data system. In addition to state grant funds, the Division for Young Children is the recipient of two technical assistant awards from the National League of Cities to build a Pre-K to Grade 3 alignment and to transform early childhood workforce.

The Division for Young Children performs day-to-day planning and coordination, serving as the lead entity to coordinate and implement early childhood policy and the City’s coordinated early childhood plan. Its responsibilities are to:

  • Implement early childhood policy coordinating early learning and development planning;

  • Unite diverse early childhood programs and meld them into a coordinated comprehensive citywide system;

  • Improve the quality of early childhood programs, increase teacher credentials, and strengthen the use of effective instructional practices through professional development and data-driven decision-making practices in order to ensure positive child outcomes;

  • Develop annually (with the Office of Management and Budget) a “Children’s Budget”

  • Lead and/or participate on boards and commissions related to early childhood and;

  • Seek additional revenues.

Young Children crayons

HARTFORD CITY HALL ADDRESS: 550 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 PHONE: (860)757-9311 HOURS: 8AM - 5PM