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  • The Narrative Project

More than 1,200 Attend 10th New Haven Family Stroll & Festival to Raise Awareness & Funds

Updated: May 18, 2022


May 17, 2022

CONTACT Ashlee Niedospial 203.843.5991


More than 1,200 Attend 10th New Haven Family Stroll and Festival to Raise Awareness and Funds for Essential Early Child Care and Education

May 17, 2022 | New Haven


New Haven, CT - Over 1,200 individuals, including children, families, early care providers, and community members, attended the 10th New Haven Family Stroll and Festival Saturday at Quinnipiac River Park. The annual event, organized by Friends Center for Children, seeks to raise awareness and funds for high-quality early care and education. “The child care industry is in crisis. Care is too expensive for families, educators are paid too little, and providers are struggling to survive,” said Allyx Schiavone, Executive Director of Friends Center for Children and event organizer. This landmark year, organized in partnership with Calvin Hill Day Care Center, FIRST Step Child Care & Learning Center inc., New Haven YMCA Youth Center, Montessori School on Edgewood, and Elm City Montessori School, comes at a critical time for the early care industry, as providers and families continue to navigate the long-time issues that have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The crisis in child care is that the business model is impossible. You’re balancing your budget on the backs of your families or your teachers and that’s really the two groups we’re trying to take good care of,” said Susan Taddei, Director of Calvin Hill Daycare Center and event partner. The event began with a 1.5 mile stroll around the Quinnipiac River bridge loop. After the stroll, attendees returned to the park to hear from speakers, which included Senator Martin Looney, Representative Robyn Porter and New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, who spoke out regarding the state of early child care in Connecticut. “We know there’s been a crisis during the pandemic. People have struggled. People have suffered, and this budget makes real progress in addressing those concerns,” said Senator Looney while discussing the $183 million in funding allocated for early care investments in the state budget. “We’ll continue to work hard to make sure that our young people have what they need, and also their caregivers and parents have what they need so we can be whole families,” said Representative Porter. From there, attendees enjoyed the sunny day with food trucks, face painting, parachute play, magicians, musicians, Zumba, bubbles, arts and crafts and more. Over 40 community resource partners share information and resources with families and provided activities and games for the young children in attendance. “Child care is absolutely necessary and 100% broken,” said parent Tom Reznick who attended the event. The stroll was sponsored by Friends Center for Children, National Roofing, The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, and more. More information and a full list of sponsors and community partners can be found at

Photos below. Additional photos available by request.


A young attendee cuts the ribbon to begin the stroll.

Allyx Schiavone (right), Executive Director of Friends Center for Children and event organizer greets strollers at the end of the 1.5 mile walk.

Mayor Elicker, Representative Porter and others cross the bridge near the end of the stroll loop.

Children enjoy parachute play.

Senator Looney addresses the crowd.

A family poses for a photo after receiving a door prize.

Kids enjoy activities with Bringthehoopla.


ABOUT FRIENDS CENTER FOR CHILDREN Friends Center for Children’s mission is to engage the community in creating sustainable Early Child care in Connecticut by ensuring the growth of the sector for both parents utilizing the service, and teachers wishing to make a career in the sector.

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