Child Health

In order to be healthy, Colorado’s kids need financially secure, stable and safe families and communities; ample amounts of healthy food; thriving caregivers; quality, affordable health insurance coverage; and access to high-quality health care that meets their physical, behavioral and oral health needs. 

We know that throughout our nation’s history, policies, institutions and organizations have created systems in which the resources and opportunities for health are inequitably distributed. These inequities have a greater influence on health outcomes than either individual choices or the provision of health care. Our work includes understanding inequitable policies, working to dismantle and reduce harm from those policies, and creating new policies and systems that allow all Colorado families equitable opportunities to thrive. We are also focused on building more resilient public health systems and enacting policy changes to reduce the burden of the pandemic on the most under-resourced communities. 

a baby being medically examined

Where Colorado Stands

Colorado is widely recognized as one of the healthiest states in the nation, but our systems are failing too many of our children and families. 

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  • Many Colorado families are struggling to find an affordable place to call home. Housing costs have skyrocketed in many parts of the state, while incomes have not kept pace. Access to safe, stable housing can be particularly challenging for families with children, and they are more likely to face eviction than households without children. 
  • We have expanded access to healthy school foods for tens of thousands of Colorado students, but food security remains a challenge for too many Colorado families. 
  • In line with national trends, Colorado’s maternal mortality rate is rising dramatically. Structural, institutional and interpersonal racism leads to worse outcomes for perinatal people and infants of color. 
  • Thanks to important decisions made by Colorado lawmakers, along with implementation of federal health reform, Colorado has made great strides in ensuring that our kids have access to health insurance. However, progress has stalled in recent years and substantial disparities remain in health insurance coverage and access to quality health care services among Colorado kids and families. 

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What the Children's Campaign is Doing

With the support of the Children’s Campaign, meaningful policy has been passed at both the federal and state level over the last few years to lay the foundation for getting kids the care they need, when and where they need it. Our priority now is to build upon these policies and make sure they are implemented appropriately. All Colorado children should have health coverage and the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong. The Children’s Campaign is focused on the following key policy priorities:

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Ensuring access to quality, affordable health insurance coverage for kids and families 

Insurance coverage improves financial security, health status, mental health and access to health care. It also decreases infant, child and adult mortality rates.  

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Ensuring access to high quality health care that meets the physical, behavioral, and oral health needs of kids and families 

The Children’s Campaign works to ensure access to high quality physical, behavioral and oral health care in the settings that families prefer. We work to maintain and expand access to reproductive health care services – including high quality family planning services and the abortion care that people need in order to ensure autonomy over their bodies and futures. We also work to improve population health by promoting immunization, pandemic response and recovery, a reduction of tobacco and nicotine consumption and access to fluoridated water.

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Ensuring Colorado kids and families have access to ample amounts of healthy food 

When kids fail to get enough food – or enough of the right kinds of food – their physical and cognitive development suffers. We work to ensure that children have access to healthy food wherever they go – at home, in child care settings, and at school. 

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Creating financially secure, stable and safe families and communities

In order to live their healthiest lives, children need to live in families that are financially secure, have stable and affordable housing, and live in communities without gun violence.

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Allowing Caregivers to Thrive 

Children need healthy, thriving caregivers who are able to support them. This means ensuring parents have access to the physical and behavioral health services they need to thrive.  

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Looking for Info on Child Well-Being?

Our annual KIDS COUNT in Colorado! report tracks the best available state- and county-level data on child well-being in Colorado. Find out how kids are faring in your community.

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