The bill will allocate 35 million dollars to a Child Care Sustainability Grant Program and 10 million dollars to an Emerging and Expanding Child Care Grant Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Suzanne Arnold, [email protected], (609) 610-4957 (M)
Washington, D.C. (December 2, 2020) – Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) applauds the Colorado General Assembly for passing House Bill 20B-1002: Emergency Relief Programs for the Child Care Sector. Not only will the bill help to sustain and protect Colorado’s existing child care providers through the creation of a Child Care Sustainability Grant Program, but it will also work to rebuild Colorado’s child care industry – which is suffering severely from COVID-related closures – through a new Emerging and Expanding Child Care Grant Program. The bill passed with strong bipartisan support in the House and Senate.
“I sincerely commend Governor Polis and the bill’s sponsors – Representatives Kipp, Landgraf and McCluskie, and Senators Pettersen, Sonnenberg and Priola – for making child care a key priority of this special legislative session, recognizing its unique importance to Colorado’s recovery from COVID-19,” said Mark Shriver, President of SCAN. “Today’s passage – particularly following the historic approval of Proposition EE in November – further illustrates Colorado’s keen commitment to early learning, continuing to position Colorado as a nationwide leader in early education initiatives.”
Since the onset of COVID-19, Colorado’s child care industry has greatly suffered.
- Prior to the pandemic, more than half of Coloradans lived in a child care desert. Due to widespread pandemic-related closures, this problem has only been exacerbated.
- Since COVID-19, child care enrolment across Colorado has decreased by 39% for children under five years old. Enrolment for school-aged children has decreased by 29%. As income is often based on enrolment, child care providers are finding it increasingly difficult to keep their doors open.
- A recent survey of child care providers found that 40% of providers worried they would need to close permanently without additional public assistance. 73% of programs indicated that they have or will engage in layoffs, furloughs or pay cuts.
“I applaud Colorado’s legislators for prioritizing our kids today. Child care is not only critical in preparing children for success in kindergarten and in life, but it’s also critical to our economic recovery from COVID-19. Parents need child care in order to get back to work, knowing their child is in a safe and nurturing environment,” said Annalise Romoser, SCAN Colorado State Manager. “Colorado’s lawmakers recognize this, and have taken important steps today to help ensure that the child care industry survives.”
SCAN will continue to work closely with a broad, bipartisan coalition of early education advocates to ensure Colorado’s child care industry is given the support it so desperately needs.
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Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) was created in 2014 as the political advocacy arm of Save the Children, to be the political voice for kids. We work to ensure that the issues critical to children’s lives and futures are given top priority by our elected leaders, building bipartisan support to make sure every child has a strong start in life.