(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) has named the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood’s innovative and family-friendly Care 4 Kids Parent Portal as a finalist in its highly competitive 2022 State IT Recognition Awards. The awards showcase the use of information technology by states and territories to connect residents more easily to their government.
Located at portal.ct.gov/oec/care4kids, the Parent Portal was created in 2021 to make it easier for families to apply and qualify for the Care 4 Kids program, which is administered by the Office of Early Childhood and provides low and moderate-income families with a subsidy to pay for the costs of child care. The portal includes several digital tools to make the process easier for families, including prescreening for eligibility determination, an online application for the program, and the ability to electronically upload required verifications and other documentation. Families can easily access the Parent Portal through any internet-connected desktop computer or mobile device.
In addition to the ease-of-use benefits the portal provides families, it has also improved the ability of the Office of Early Childhood to administer the program by automating several manual processes and reducing paper and printing costs. Since launching the portal, the office has seen a 50% reduction in phone calls, a 52% reduction in incomplete applications, and a 24% reduction in illegible applications.
The portal aligns with the Lamont administration’s efforts to build an all-digital state government and increase the number of digital tools available for residents and businesses to connect with services administered by the state.
Governor Lamont said, “From the Department of Motor Vehicles to the Office of Early Childhood, our administration continues to implement changes that make state services available digitally and accessible more quickly and efficiently, allowing residents to spend more time with their families, on their careers, and enjoying our great state. The Office of Early Childhood’s national recognition continues to prove Connecticut as a leader when it comes to digital government. I am proud of the work by our state employees, and I look forward to furthering our all-digital government efforts.”
Beth Bye, commissioner of the Office of Early Childhood said, “We have worked hard to offer a Parent Portal that is family-friendly and easy to use, saves parents time and resources, offers clarity into application and screening, provides support, and is available 24/7.”
Dhwani Pandya, IT director for the Office of Early Childhood, said, “It is a matter of tremendous pride for me to represent the great work on behalf of the Office of Early Childhood. This recognition is a testament to the team spirit and hard work put in by so many players.”
Michelle Gilman, commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services, said, “This recognition is another example of how the State of Connecticut is leading the way in digitizing and modernizing government services, so residents have easier to use state resources.”
Mark Raymond, Connecticut’s chief information officer, said, “The Office of Early Childhood has been a great agency partner in our journey to becoming an all-digital government. I am proud of the work being achieved through collaboration with this office and being recognized as a national leader in modernizing government services.”
NASCIO is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with the mission of improving information technology practices at all levels of government to better serve the public. The recipients of its 2022 State IT Recognition Awards will be announced at its annual conference in October.
For more details on the Parent Portal and the process behind its creation, click here.
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