The West Steps: Colorado reimagines early childhood education with a new state agency
High quality, accessible child care is not only necessary for helping young children thrive, but also for creating a strong and stable economy. In Colorado, our early childhood system remains fragmented and difficult to maneuver for both families and providers. Quality, availability, and cost of these services also make it difficult for our providers to support families in the best way possible. These issues were only exacerbated by the pandemic, as many child care centers were forced to close their doors due to lack of funding. However, this economic fallout has led many Coloradans to finally recognize child care services as a critical part of our communities that demand the attention of our policymakers. In order to help lay a strong foundation for children’s later learning and achievement, we must work towards improving and investing in our early childhood system.
Diane Price, President and CEO of Early Connections Learning Centers in Colorado Springs, joins us for episode 14 as we discuss the historic changes happening with early childhood in our state. After years of demanding our state government show more commitment to early care and education, Colorado is finally moving toward fixing this broken system with the introduction of HB 1304. This bill would create a new cabinet-level state agency that consolidates the various early childhood authorities, programs, and funding streams, and focuses on a unified vision of comprehensive early childhood service delivery for all children. If passed, the bill would result in momentous change for kids and families across the state. Join us in advocating for HB 1304, and we can establish a truly unified system that lifts up early childhood to the importance it deserves.
To learn more about HB 1304, visit our new microsite.