DEAR EDITOR: Working families in Aurora, and thousands more across Colorado face a daunting decision each day. Without access to licensed child care, parents are forced to find unlicensed care through family or friends or leave the workforce. Their decision doesn’t just impact individual families, it also threatens Colorado’s potential for economic growth.
A “child care desert” exists when there are more than three children for every single licensed child care slot. In Colorado there are nearly 250,000 children under the age of 6 whose parents work. However, there are not nearly enough licensed child care slots to serve those children. Currently only one in six families who qualify for childcare assistance in Colorado receive it.
The Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act, bipartisan legislation presently before Congress, would provide competitive grants to states like Colorado to support the training and retention of the child care workforce. It will also help to build and expand child care facilities in areas with child care shortages.
As an early childhood education professional, I encourage Sen. Cory Gardner to co-sponsor this legislation that will expand access to quality child care. If parents are able to remain in the workforce, and can feel confident their children are receiving adequate and safe child care, our communities will thrive.
— Candy Sturbaum, Director of Enrichment and Camps, Renaissance Montessori Academy, Aurora, via [email protected]