State Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, was named a Children's Champion by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance.

Boucher, whose 26th Senatorial District also covers New Canaan, was one of 24 legislators selected for making Connecticut's young children and their families a priority this session.

According to the organization, this has been a successful year for early childhood, with the passage of legislation creating the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood; planning for universal access for preschool; expanding the School Readiness program; increasing rates for not only School Readiness, but also child development centers; and budget increases for Care4Kids and full-day, full-year rates for state-funded programs.

"For years, we've worked with legislators to make early childhood a priority issue, both at the Capitol and in the districts, and we're seeing results of that work," said Karen Rainville, alliance co-chairman and the executive director of Connecticut Association for the Education of Young Children. "The Children's Champions stepped up this year for their youngest constituents."

Children's Champions will be honored in-district with local early childhood advocates.