HB22-1295 (Sirota & Garnet/ Buckner & Fenberg) Department Early Childhood and Universal Preschool Program
This bill establishes the functions of the Department of Early Childhood, as well as the director of the department, in administering early childhood and family support programs. It authorizes the executive director to promote the rules for the department and its programs. In addition, the bill directs the department to obtain applications from organizations and public entities to serve as local coordinating organizations across the state. Effective July 1, 2022, the bill transfers responsibilities concerning early childhood workforce development to the department. The bill creates the Colorado universal preschool program, which will provide 10 hours per week of preschool services for children in the year before kindergarten, effective July 1, 2023.
The Children’s Campaign supports this bill. Early childhood is a critical period that dramatically shapes a child’s education and life experiences. However, the current early childhood system in Colorado is underfunded and fragmented. This bill provides Colorado with the chance to implement a high-quality Department of Early Childhood based on the unanimously approved recommendations of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC). By establishing more streamlined early care and education services through a state agency, we can reduce the burdens families, providers, and the early childhood workforce face in navigating these systems, and provide young children with the critical early start they need to thrive.
The bill was signed by the governor on April 25.
April 22, 2022
April 15, 2022
The bill passed out of the Senate on a vote of 24-11. It now heads back to the House, where its final hearing will be held on Monday.
April 1, 2022
The bill passed out of the Senate Education Committee on a vote of 5-2. It now heads to Appropriations.
March 18, 2022
The bill passed out of the House Education Committee on a bipartisan 7-2 vote. It now heads to appropriations.