Bipartisan commission advances four bills on early childhood to 2018 session

Written by: Bill Jaeger
Date Posted: November 3, 2017

This week a bipartisan group of legislators agreed to send four legislative proposals related to early childhood learning and development to the Colorado General Assembly in 2018.

The legislators sit on the Early Childhood and School Readiness Legislative Commission (ECSRLC), which discussed several legislative proposals to improve early childhood policies in Colorado. Comprised of six legislators, Sen. Kevin Priola (Chair), Rep. Janet Buckner (Vice Chair), Rep. Brittany Pettersen, Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik, Sen. Michael Merrifield, and Rep. Jim Wilson, this bipartisan group of legislators found unanimous agreement to advance four pieces of legislation. The bills that the group advanced include:

  • A bill to bring greater alignment and efficiency in how Colorado improves the quality of our child care system. If passed it would ensure easier implementation for our Early Childhood Councils and a more streamlined process for securing funding for investments in child care quality.
  • A bill to increase access to substitute child care teachers
  • A bill to ensure that kindergarteners supported with Early Childhood At-Risk Enhancement (ECARE) funds meet the same eligibility requirements as children in the Colorado Preschool Program (CPP)
  • A bill to continue the work of the Early Childhood and School Readiness Legislative Commission for another five years.

The Commission chose to continue work on a separate bill to rethink our approach to funding full-day kindergarten so did not advance it at this time. For the bills they did advance, the next step will be introduction and hearings through the regular legislative process when the full Colorado General Assembly reconvenes in January.

The Children’s Campaign was pleased to work with the Commission, state agencies, and other stakeholders to shape the direction of these bills and looks forward to continuing this work in the 2018 Legislative Session. You can read more about the work of the ECSRLC, the bills they advanced, and the fiscal notes for these here (http://www.earlychildhoodcolorado.org/early-childhood-and-school-readiness-legislative-commission/) or contact Bill Jaeger at bill@coloradokids.org with any questions.

Bill Jaeger

About Bill Jaeger

Bill Jaeger, Vice President of Early Childhood Initiatives at the Children’s Campaign, has spent the past decade teaching, studying, and working on issues in public education and public policy. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s in education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education before working as a public school teacher and administrator in the greater Hartford, Connecticut area for several years. Bill also holds master’s degrees in public policy and political science and worked in several positions in the non-profit sector prior to joining the Colorado Children’s Campaign as Vice President of Early Childhood Initiatives. He is a graduate of Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs and enjoys spending time with his wife, newborn son, and golden retriever.