Extreme Heat Precautions and Local Cooling Centers
A Message from Richard Porth President/CEO of United Way of Connecticut

The State Department of Public Health (DPH) warns that extreme heat can be dangerous, especially for the elderly and young children.  As part of a detailed list of tips and precautions on their website, DPH advises monitoring those who are at increased risk of heat-related illness, including:
  • Infants and young children who rely on others to regulate their environment and provide fluids
  • People over 65 years of age 
  • People who exert too much during exercise or work and become dehydrated
  • People who are physically ill or who take certain medications may be affected by extreme heat
DPH recommends checking on adults who are at increased risk twice per day during extreme heat, and monitoring young children throughout hot weather for signs of heat-related illness. 

Many Connecticut cities and towns open cooling centers or shelters during heat waves and extreme hot weather. 2-1-1 maintains an up-to-date listing of active cooling centers, including location information, hours of operation, and other pertinent details. To find local cooling centers, visit the 2-1-1 website or dial 2-1-1.

Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI) has published an issue brief about the expansion of Mid-Level Developmental Assessment (MLDA) throughout the state of Connecticut. 

MLDA is an alternative assessment option for children aged 6 months to 6 years with developmental concerns that have been identified by a pediatrician or through an initial screening, but who may not meet eligibility criteria for Birth to Three services. 

The program, which was piloted beginning in 2009 by The Village for Families and Children with grant funding from CHDI, works in collaboration with 2-1-1 Child Development Infoline to connect children with mild concerns to community-based programs through Help Me Grow, and refers children with more severe concerns to Birth to Three or early childhood special education.

Connecticut is the first state to test the MLDA model, and is expanding its use to providers throughout the state this year with funding support from a LEGO Community Fund grant. 

Visit the CHDI website to learn more about MLDA, and click here or call 1-800-505-7000 to reach the 2-1-1 Child Development Infoline.

For families who may need help with getting everything their children need for the upcoming school year, the 2-1-1 E-Library has a paper with suggestions for finding help with obtaining school supplies and clothing:
  • school supplies Parents can contact the teacher, principal, or social worker at their child's school for information and ideas
  • Some schools that require uniforms have a uniform exchange program as an alternative to purchasing new uniforms 
  • Search the 2-1-1 website for School Clothing or School Supplies to find local resources
To learn more about what resources and assistance may be available, visit 211ct.org or dial 2-1-1 to speak with a contact specialist.

The 2015 National KIDS COUNT Data Book is now available, and shows Connecticut ranked 6th in the nation for overall child well-being.

Kids Count
The overall ranking is based on a composite of data from four areas: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family & Community. KIDS COUNT data highlights the linkages between these areas, and their connection to long-term positive outcomes for children. 

KIDS COUNT is a national project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation that is led in Connecticut by the Connecticut Association of Human Services (CAHS). Visit the CAHS website to download the 2015 Data Book and access prior KIDS COUNT reports and data.