Colorado profiled for two generation policy benchmarks across health, early care, and economic support
The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) recently released new state profiles examining early childhood two-generation policies nationally and state-by-state. Two generation policies address the needs of the child and the adults in their family at the same time, integrating access to programs such as child care and home visiting with access to health, economic, and community support that bolsters the family’s ability to prosper economically and socially. NCCP’s new profiles specifically provide a view of current policies affecting children birth to age 8, allowing users to quickly see how many states meet each benchmark and find evidence and policy resources related to the benchmarks.
These state profiles comparatively show which policies meet benchmarks that are favorable to the well-being of children and their families. Most two generation policies for young children and families are created through the collective impact of several different initiatives. NCCP’s profiles include benchmarks on health and development, early care and education, and parenting and economic support. Colorado meets 18 of 21 health benchmarks, 6 of 13 early care and education benchmarks, and 9 of 14 parenting and economic support benchmarks. The Children’s Campaign has contributed directly to passing many of the policy changes recommended in the report. Several of the benchmarks that Colorado does not currently meet in this profile reflect upcoming implementation periods that will take effect in 2023.
In Colorado, examples of two generation policies include the creation and implementation of the new Colorado Department of Early Childhood and Universal Preschool Program, recent increases to early childhood program access, and efforts which lessen the mental and financial burden of navigating the early childhood system for families. This progress coincides with the full funding of Colorado’s Child Tax Credit in 2021, and modifications made to Colorado’s TANF program (Colorado Works) to improve the ways in which the program supports and works for families in 2022. These different programs and policies collectively create a system that better equips families and children with the income, connections, and skills they need to succeed.
Regardless of this progress, the Children’s Campaign acknowledges that there is more to be done to ensure policy solutions reach kids and caregivers – in the same families, at the same time – in a practical and resourceful way to make a long-lasting positive impact. Take a look at NCCP’s profiles on their website.