New Law Will Remove Child Care Barriers for Teen Parents and Domestic Violence Survivors
Teen parents, advocates, policy makers and reporters gathered Thursday to celebrate the signing of a new law that will remove barriers to affordable child care for families during sensitive times in their lives.
Teen parents and domestic violence survivors in Colorado will no longer need to pursue child support before applying for Colorado’s child care program for low-income families. On Thursday, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed HB 16-1227 during a ceremony at Florence Crittenton Services in Denver. Hickenlooper lauded the bipartisan support for the bill, which garnered “yes” votes from 90 of 100 legislators and had 58 sponsors.
“When a teenage mom, or a victim of domestic violence, only has two practical choices: Either abandon their child, and let someone else raise it, or abandon their education—those are terrible choices to have to make” said Rep. Daniel Kagan, a sponsor of the bill. “This bill gives them a third choice. Continue your education and raise your child in the best possible way.”
The Children’s Campaign and our partners have been working on this change since 2013. Ensuring that young children have access to quality early learning and that teen parents can complete their high school education is a two-generation strategy to break the cycle of poverty. Lowering the barriers to accessing the assistance these parents need at a sensitive point in their lives is vitally important to ensuring children are given a strong start in life.