2021 Legislative Session

Date Posted: December 10, 2020

Intro

The Colorado Children’s Campaign serves as the leading voice for kids at the state Capitol and in communities across the state. In our 33-year history we’ve worked with policymakers from every corner of the state and every political perspective to improve the well-being of Colorado kids. Children’s issues aren’t partisan, and we’ve learned that we can develop innovative solutions to improve the lives of children and families when we work together.

As the 2021 session of the Colorado General Assembly begins, we’ve prepared the best available data and research on child well-being to help advocates and policymakers advance—and protect—policies and investments we know will provide the greatest benefits to kids.

 Priorities

Child Health Priorities

  • Expanding Access to Health Insurance Coverage: Health insurance coverage provides access to the physical, mental and oral health services that pregnant people and kids need to stay healthy, and it protects family financial resources. We need to expand health insurance options, ensure that coverage provides all the benefits that Colorado families need to thrive, and continue working to enroll eligible Coloradans.
  • Maternal Physical & Mental Well-Being: Moms need to be physically and mentally healthy to be the kind of parents they want and need to be for their kids. We can help all families in this area by ensuring access to family planning services, improving access to culturally responsive, trauma-informed, and patient-centered care, and improving the quality of mental and physical health care provided to pregnant and postpartum people.

K-12 Education Priorities

  • Equity & Transparency in Public School Finance: The quality of a child’s education and the resources that schools can access should not depend on a child’s zip code or local property wealth. By fixing the unintended consequences of Colorado’s inflexible tax system and increasing transparency around funds raised at the local level, the state can target investments in our students and communities living in poverty and experiencing the most barriers to opportunity.
  • Addressing How Students Are Doing During the Pandemic: We need to develop creative solutions to assess how students are doing during this crisis-to understand the impact of learning disruptions and remote instruction, the extent of learning losses or gains, and how our kids are faring emotionally. Children, families, and community members deserve to know how students are progressing, and policymakers and advocates need this information to target future investments. We also need to work together to support policies that align with the COVID Implications Workgroup recommendations.

Early Childhood Priorities

  • Implementation of Universal Pre-K: With the passage of Proposition EE, Colorado is now poised to establish a first-in-the-nation preschool program that is both accessible for all and targeted to those families with the greatest needs. Based on the work of a community-informed policy development process, Colorado can set the stage for implementation of this vital program in the years ahead.
  • Increasing the Supply of Child Care: Even before the pandemic, Colorado was facing a severe child care shortage, especially among family child care home providers and care for infants and toddlers. We must remove inequitable barriers and streamline burdensome regulations to allow more educators and families to set up these small businesses, including in their homes, and provide care for their communities.