HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ A new report says reducing turnover among caretakers and teachers of Connecticut’s youngest children could bolster the state’s early education efforts.

A group of legislators and education advocates want the state to offer more help for those employees to pursue college degrees, potentially boosting their pay and reducing turnover.

They also support a pending bill to create a new state agency to consolidate programs dealing with early childhood education and caregiving.

The programs are currently spread across five agencies.

Connecticut Charts-A-Course, a project of the state’s community college system, released the report Tuesday. It says the state’s average early childhood caregivers and teachers are paid $24,500 annually.

About 42,000 children are born in Connecticut each year, and education officials say strong early childhood programs are critical before kindergarten.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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