We know that the involvement of parents and caregivers in a child’s earliest years of development is essential to their child’s success. Home visiting programs work to create this reality, especially for immigrant and refugee families who face numerous barriers to accessing high-quality care for their young children. Evidence-based home visiting services and early intervention programs have an impressive track record of success in improving outcomes for children and families, however, they are limited in their reach in Colorado due to funding constraints. In 2020, Colorado served only an estimated 8,810 of the 316,900 families who could benefit from access to home visiting services.
According to our 2019 study, Colorado families participating in evidence-based home visiting exhibited a nearly 50% reduction in domestic violence; a 21% reduction in smoking during pregnancy; and a 32% reduction in alcohol use during pregnancy. All of these positive health outcomes translate into positive early childhood development and, in turn, improvements in school readiness and overall life outcomes. Home visiting programs are an essential component of the whole-family, whole-child and whole-community vision that drives the work of the new Department of Early Childhood. Home visiting programs equip parents with the skills they need to best support their children’s education and healthy development.
The Children’s Campaign believes that Colorado can be a place where a supportive array of childhood experiences, across a variety of settings, are available to all families who want them. By supporting expanded access to parenting support and home visiting programs, with a particular focus on families with very young children, we can help families succeed economically and support young children’s healthy development.
Recent Policy Successes
SB22-213 (Fields & Sonnenberg/Valdez A. & Tipper) Support for Early Childhood Programs allocates funding to a number of early childhood programs, including workforce support, expansion grants, employer-based child care programs, home visiting, and family, friend, and neighbor support to sustain and expand programs that are making a meaningful impact in child care and early learning.
HB21-1222 (Valdez & Van Winkle/Smallwood & Winter) Regulation of Family Child Care Homes increases access to child care by reducing burdensome regulations that family child care homes face by requiring local regulatory entities to treat licensed family child care providers as residences for regulatory purposes like zoning, fire, and building codes.