Every School Day Counts
A Message from Richard Porth President/CEO of United Way of Connecticut

September is Attendance Awareness Month, which is part of an ongoing campaign to address chronic school absence and give young people the best chance at success in their adult life. 

Nearly one-in-ten students nationwide are chronically absent from school, which is defined as missing 10 percent or more of the school year for any reason (excused or unexcused absences).  

Making school attendance a priority while kids are in early grades prepares them to thrive in later grades, college, and their future careers.

United Ways in Connecticut and their partners in the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading will be raising awareness about the importance of school attendance throughout the month of September. To be involved with Attendance Awareness Month activities or the Campaign for Grade-Level reading in your community, contact your local United Way.  The Attendance Works website also has tools and resources for parents, educators, students and others.

In a new ALICE Update, the latest available cost data from 2-1-1 Child Care is used to examine the biggest child care challenges facing ALICE families in Connecticut with interactive visualizations for exploring the cost and availability of child care throughout the state.  

For ALICE and poverty households with young children, the cost of child care is a significant burden. The Connecticut ALICE Report estimates that the cost of child care for two children (1 preschooler and 1 infant) is at least 28% of the monthly expenses included in the Household Survival Budget for a family of four.

To learn more about the impact of child care costs on some Connecticut families, visit the ALICE website. For more information about ALICE or to download the Connecticut ALICE Report, click here.

Mental health is just as important as physical health for children, and a newly redesigned website at includes a wealth of mental health resources and information. 

Maintained by the Child Health and Development Institute of CT (CHDI), this site helps parents and caregivers learn about promoting healthy development, gain an understanding about the impact of trauma, and has guidance for working with schools to support their child.

The resources are available in both Spanish and English, and can be accessed on any device at

If your child or a child in your care is in crisis, dial 2-1-1 and press option 1.

Hurricane season is underway and the State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security website has storm preparation advice, including a detailed printable workbook to guide you through developing an emergency plan which can be downloaded here

In the event of a storm emergency, 2-1-1 will have the latest information about shelters and other storm relief resources updated on an ongoing basis at or by dialing 2-1-1.