Changes to childcare legislation are coming to Colorado. The Family Center/La Familia is proud of our behind-the-scenes work with elected officials to create change in city, county, and state policies and systems through our Mi Voz advocacy program.
We are pleased to see recent prioritization of affordable childcare locally, state-wide, and nationally. In early May, a bill was introduced that would establish a standalone state department in Colorado dedicated to early childhood programs, tasked with providing universal free preschool starting in 2023. The funding for this program will come from nicotine taxes collected through Proposition EE, approved by Colorado voters in 2020. As part of the program, low-income families and those who face barriers to school readiness would have access to additional assistance.
The Larimer Thrive by Five initiative, with the Early Childhood Council of Larimer County, has continued to build awareness about the importance of quality early childhood experiences – essential for economic health. Participate in the Thrive by Five discussion here.
The Early Childhood Council of Larimer County (ECCLC) has released its strategic plan for 2020-2025, with legislative goals including:
- Workforce advocacy at the state level to streamline the qualification process for early care and education providers
- Expansion of the Expanding Professional Possibilities in Early Childhood (EPPEC) project in Larimer County
- Engaging at least 60% of Larimer County early childcare education programs in the Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System
- Partnering with United Way of Larimer County to explore models for business support of family-friendly workplace policies and childcare access, with a plan for local advocacy
- By early 2022, explore the inclusion of an early childhood subsidization tax proposal on a Larimer County ballot
The United Way of Larimer County is part of the worldwide United Way network. Together, United Way locations around the country and the world work with individual communities to identify needs, and United Way Worldwide advocates for policy change on a national level. United Way’s early childcare and early childhood education policy priorities this year focus on the critical importance of affordable access to childcare for working families. Policy goals include:
- Increasing Child Care Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) funding to improve access to high quality childcare for working families
- Increasing federal investments in early childhood education to provide training, certification, and equitable compensation for childhood education workers
- Supporting increased access to high-quality early learning opportunities such as Head Start and other federal programs
Together, organizations large and small continue to advocate for accessibility to affordable early childhood care and education programs. The Family Center/La Familia is proud to support these efforts through our own advocacy programs, as well as in collaboration with other local nonprofits. As always, the families we work with are essential in guiding our efforts. Follow us on Facebook for updates and to share your needs and ideas for improving access to early childhood care and education in Larimer County.