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WEST HAVEN, March 26, 2021 — Vice President Kamala Harris visited the West Haven Child Development Center on Friday, March 26.
Harris, America’s first female vice president, toured the 201 Noble St. center with Nancy R. Rossi, West Haven’s first female mayor, as part of the Biden administration’s “Help Is Here” campaign.
In her first visit to Connecticut as vice president, Harris touted the administration’s coronavirus relief package, called the American Rescue Plan, and its billions in funding to increase the child tax credit and support child care providers nationwide, including $277 million to help day care centers and preschools in the state.
Harris and Rossi were accompanied by U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-3, who championed the child tax credit legislation, as well as Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz. They were also joined by state Rep. Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven, and Councilwoman Robbin Watt Hamilton, D-5.
“We are happy to welcome Vice President Harris to West Haven,” Rossi said. “The American Rescue Plan includes funding that directly benefits West Haven and child care facilities like our Child Development Center. Help is here for West Haven in this robust relief package, which alleviates the many hardships felt by COVID-19.”
The Child Development Center, founded in 1978, is expected to receive funding for teachers and classrooms “to further support the care and education of our children,” said Executive Director Patrice Farquharson, who has a doctorate in education and was also on hand for the late-afternoon tour, which included Harris greeting a preschool class.
The center, which reopened July 6, 2020, after a period of distance learning, offers full- and part-day child care services for infants and children up to age 5. While it was closed, the center serviced families remotely by providing diapers and information to access food, Farquharson said.
The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, enacted by Congress earlier this month, includes funds for COVID-19 vaccines and testing; state, local and tribal governments; and schools and ailing industries. It also includes tax breaks to help lower-earning people and families with children.
Under the new law, West Haven is expected to receive $38.61 million — $19.85 million for education and $18.76 million for noneducation — in coronavirus relief, including aid for low-to-moderate-income families, according to the office of U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, D-1.
Besides stopping the pandemic and jump-starting hiring, the rescue package contains elements intended to stimulate faster growth over the long term, such as sustaining public transportation and repairing state and local government finances.