It’s already back to school time and this Fall we are getting excited about some of the new policies impacting funding for Colorado’s early childhood education programming.
Last November Colorado voters passed Proposition EE which created additional taxes on vaping and cigarettes to help fund at least 10 hours of free preschool for 4-year-olds and generate around $300 million by 2027 (Denver Post, 2021).
Following this move, over the summer Governor Jared Polis signed a bill to create a new department focused on early childhood education and setting up universal preschool by 2023. This department will allow for all resources under one roof, plus improve the funding and quality of early childhood education. The department should be in effect by July of next year and will serve all children and their families from birth to age five (Colorado Public Radio, 2021).
As an early childhood education center, we look forward to seeing what changes and new funding sources are to come with the development of this department. We believe that every child deserves equitable access to early learning like we provide at El Nidito/The Little Nest.
The burden of quality early childcare is a major expense for families in Colorado and these changes will bring relief to so many families and help build a stronger future for their children. As CBS4 Denver points out, this year saw more employees, particularly moms, leaving the workforce naming cost and access to childcare as a main reason. While the benefits of this decision are unlimited, creating a more equitable workforce for working parents is a benefit to each of us, these children and the economy.
The research has been around for a long time showing how much development happens for a children between zero to five, making early childhood education essential for every child. We are excited to see policy and funding in Colorado finally begin to respond to this need in ways that can serve every child.
So back to school might still be for limited to K-12 for this school year but we look forward to when “back to school” includes the younger kids like those we serve too!
For the time being, if you are willing or able to support our work with early childhood education, we invite you to learn more about the impact your donation can make here.