Make your voice heard for hardworking families. Together, we can create real change.

40% of our friends and neighbors must make difficult choices in their lives with limited resources, a population we call ALICE®: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. We depend on ALICE every day—to care for our children and our aging parents, to stock our store shelves, and fix our cars.

More than 40,000 households in Western Connecticut— 1 in 3—are ALICE and they do not have the income to pay for necessities such as housing, food, child care, health care, technology, and transportation – even though they may work multiple jobs.

When you become an advocate with United Way, you can help everyone have the opportunity to take care of their basic needs and reach their full potential.




We believe that every child should enter school ready to learn.


Financial Stability


We believe in helping individuals pave a path to financial independence.




We believe that everyone should have access to fresh, healthy food.



To access the 2023 Policy Agenda, click here.

The Connecticut Earned Income Tax Credit (CT EITC) is a refundable state income tax credit for low-to-moderate-income working individuals and families that are benchmarked to the federal EITC.

212,000 CT households claimed the federal EITC in 2021, receiving an average of $2,411 credit.

Our Ask: Maintain the CT EITC at 41.5% of the federal rate into future years.

To view the Connecticut United Ways Policy Priorities Fact Sheet on EITC, click here.

Governor’s Budget

In Governor Lamont’s Fiscal Year 2024-2025 Biennial Budget Address, he announced his support for increasing the state’s EITC from 30.5% to 40%. This will provide an additional $44.6 million in state tax credits to approximately 211,675 low-income households. The transcript of the Governor’s budget address can be found here.

A hungry child can’t learn, and no child should be made to feel less than because he/she can’t afford a meal. No-cost meals allow students to learn and thrive. School meals and farm-to-school programs help Connecticut kids be healthy while creating equity and economic opportunities in our state.

In the 2021/2022 school year, nearly 75 million no-cost meals were served, compared to a total of 25 million free, reduced-price, AND full-price meals served the school year prior.

Our Ask: Expand universal access to no-cost meals for the 2022-2023 school year via emergency certification AND create a long-term funding plan to sustain no-cost meals beyond 22-23.

To view the Connecticut United Ways Policy Priorities Fact Sheet on School Meals, click here.

2022-2023 Funding Secured

On Thursday, February 8, 2023, the CT Legislature voted to approve emergency funding to provide universal no-cost meals to children for the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year. More on this funding can be found here.

Long-Term Funding

Currently there are numerous bills in the House and Senate that propose long-term funding for universal no-cost meals. In addition to the long-term funding support, we are also proposing 1) requiring districts to draw down all available federal funds to offset the cost of state funding and 2) to integrate a farm-to-school food sourcing component. We will update this section with key bills to follow and action alerts.

SB 929: Public hearing held at the Children’s Committee on 2/7/23

HB 6659: Public hearing held at the Appropriations Committee on 2/23/23

United Way of Western CT Submitted Testimony

More than 250,000 families in Connecticut applied for and received the 2022 Child Tax Rebate, making more of their income available to manage the rising costs of household essentials and child care.

NOW is the time for Connecticut to join with the rest of the nation to support families with the high cost of raising children with a permanent, refundable Child Tax Credit (CTC).

Our Ask: Create a permanent, fully refundable CT Child Tax Credit.

To view the Connecticut United Ways Policy Priorities Fact Sheet on CTC, click here.

Public Act No. 21-171 provides permission under the law to establish child care business incubator pilot projects in seven Connecticut communities: Bridgeport, Danbury, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven, Stamford, and Waterbury. Child care business incubators provide new child care entrepreneurs a supportive place to launch their business, learn the skills essential to sustaining it as a profitable enterprise, and increase knowledge of child development to ensure that care is high quality. Child care business incubators also offer physical space to launch these small businesses, addressing a critical barrier that many aspiring entrepreneurs face.

By creating child care incubators in existing facilities, providers are able to more easily launch their family child care business. Building on the existing Cora’s Kids Early Childhood Care and Education Initiative, the Incubator would provide a single hub for multiple providers to receive licensing and professional development support services, including how to start and run a business, classes in early childhood education, First Aid, nutrition, and more. They also would provide a place for this community of providers and parents to come together to grow and address community needs and parenting challenges.

Our ask: Support for funding for the Child Care Business Incubator Pilot Projects (PA 21-171) in the seven cities and require the Office of Early Childhood to include Family Child Care Incubators in existing funding streams, specifically the dollars allocated for “early child care pilots” and expansion of infant toddler slots.

HB 6659: Public hearing held at the Appropriations Committee on 2/23/23

United Way of Western CT Submitted Testimony

HB 6659 (READ)


If you have questions or would like to discuss this policy agenda, please contact: Amy Casavina Hall | United Way of Connecticut | 860-571-7500 or

For additional information, visit