LETTERS: Colorado making progress on quality early child care

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Editor: Early childhood experiences shape a child’s development, education and journey throughout life. Yet, as an early childhood educator in the Aurora area, I see families struggling to access the early childhood experiences proven to benefit children. For example, securing child care, particularly for infants and toddlers, is costly and challenging.

In part, that is because Colorado’s early childhood programs are spread across multiple state agencies, each with varying eligibility requirements and funding streams. This can leave families and child care providers confused and jumping through unnecessary hoops. Without a single system, many families don’t know what programs they qualify for and they can spend unpredictable amounts of time submitting multiple applications to enroll in child care and preschool. Meanwhile, early education providers face challenges maintaining the services that families need.

Luckily, Colorado has made progress, with the passage of Proposition EE and the creation of the new Department of Early Childhood. This department will unite many early childhood programs and services under a single system that makes it easier for families and providers to give children the best start in life.

Right now, state legislators are building on this foundation with House Bill 22-1295, which ensures: one high quality early childhood system for all programs and services; one simple application for enrollment and one universal preschool program for all families who want it, regardless of income.

Join me in thanking the Colorado House of Representatives for voting in favor of this bill, and calling on our state senators to approve House Bill 22-1295 when it comes to a vote in the Senate. This legislation will help Colorado create better beginnings for children in across our state.

Bobbie Parris, via [email protected]

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