HB20-1053 (Sirota & Wilson/Story) Supporting the Early Childhood Education Workforce
Before the pandemic, Colorado only had enough licensed early care and education capacity for roughly 60% of the 247,000 children under 6 years old with all parents in the workforce. It is even harder for certain populations to access child care, with 53 percent of rural families, 55 percent of low-income families and 56 percent of Hispanic/Latino families living in areas without enough licensed child care providers. Coronavirus has had immediate and devastating impacts on Colorado’s existing child care providers. Colorado is at risk of losing 55% of its pre-pandemic child care supply without significant public investment to stabilize the industry.
As amended, this bill would streamline flexible pathways to the classroom and support teacher recruitment and retention programs. Also, the bill would support early childhood mental health initiatives and greater flexibility for the 34 statewide Early Childhood Councils and the state Office of Early Childhood in supporting quality, responsive programming for all programs and educators regardless of their level of quality.
The Children’s Campaign strongly supports this bill. This bill is vital to addressing the lack of childcare in our state and the devastating impact it has on Colorado families. More than 12 percent of Colorado children under six had a parent who reported that they or another family member had to quit a job, not take a job, or greatly change their job because of problems with childcare. This is especially important because demand is expected to increase by nearly 20 percent in the next 10 years. We also know that early childhood mental health concerns have been heightened during this crisis so these approaches can support families and young children.
Passed the House 44-18 and the Senate 28-7 and now heads to the Governor’s desk for signature.
January 17, 2020
Assigned to the House Education Committee where it is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 1:30 pm in Room 0107
February 7, 2020
Passed out of the House Education Committee on a vote of 8-4 on Feb. 4 and now heads to the House Appropriations Committee.