LETTERS: Build Back Better Act is good for Colorado’s future

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Editor: As an early learning professional, I see how important quality early learning is for children in my community. Quality early learning develops social and emotional skills that serve children throughout life, while setting a strong academic foundation for success in school. In fact, children who participate in consistent, quality early learning programs are more likely to graduate from high school, and even go on to earn more than 50% than their peers.

Yet too many families cannot access quality care for their children because costs are high, and options limited.

This is why I met recently with the office of Congressman Crow (D-6) to show full support for child care and early learning in the Build Back Better Act.

Fulltime child care in our state, on average, is more costly than in-state college tuition. Moreover, 51% of our state lives in a child care desert—meaning that for every licensed child care slot there are three or more children in need of care.

Too many kids in our community, and across Colorado, are missing out the life-long benefits of quality early care and learning.

The Build Back Better Act is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a change for these children, and for Colorado’s future.

The Build Back Better Act includes funding to ensure no family spends more than 7% of their income on child care, and resources to establish preschool for all three and four year old children. Furthermore, the Act includes language to ensure early learning professionals receive a living wage. Just compensation is key to recruitment and retention in early learning, which contributes to quality education for young children.

Early learning is a bipartisan issue, and one that must be prioritized if we want the sector—and the children and families it serves—to thrive. Join me in calling on Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act with robust funding for child care and early education.

Bobbie Parris, via [email protected]

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