2019 LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES
Colorado currently has a shortage of licensed and affordable child care options – especially for infants. This shortage issue is exacerbated by the fact that demand for child care is high due to Colorado’s thriving economy and low unemployment rates. This bill directs the state to conduct a thorough analysis, investigating why our state has such limited child care options, and requires the creation of a strategic action plan with recommendations for how the state can remedy this problem.
In the first months of life babies need time with parents and other caregivers to develop caring, consistent relationships that foster early brain connections, which form the foundation for all learning and relationships that follow. This bill would direct the state to conduct a study the feasibility of offering a paid family leave program for all workers in Colorado.
This bill would establish an income tax credit available to early childhood educators who hold an early childhood professional credential and provide care at an eligible early education program or family childcare home.
Low-wage workers have difficulty affording the childcare they need in order to work. This bill would reauthorize the Child Care Expenses Tax Credit for families earning under $25,000, which provides a state tax credit for child care expenses incurred.
This legislation allows for the creation of special districts to fund and deliver services for early childhood development, similar to special districts that exist to support parks and recreation, emergency services, and fire protection.
Colorado’s maternal mortality rate has dramatically increased in recent years, with stark disparities for African American/Black and rural populations. Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs) are the best way to understand rates of maternal mortality and identify interventions to prevent deaths and other adverse maternal outcomes.
HB19-1164 Child Tax Credit
The Child Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit for working families with children 5 and under. This state-level child tax credit is based on the federal credit and would roughly benefit 200,000 families. The Child Tax Credit is a proven, targeted way to reduce childhood poverty and put money back into the pockets of Colorado families.
HB19-1194 School Discipline for Preschool through Second Grade
Removing a young child from school reflects a failure to address a child’s underlying needs, and can initiate a negative chain reaction that impacts future academic progress and long-term attitudes about school. Given the alarming disproportions in expulsions of boys, children of color, and students with disabilities, these extreme actions cause irreparable harm to children most needing support. This bill would limit such expulsions to only specified circumstances.
The 2020 Census has been underfunded, under-tested, and behind schedule. An incomplete census could mean fewer federal funds for Colorado for use on anything from healthcare to transportation. Children under age 5 are historically undercounted in the decennial census. This bill sets up a grant program to provide outreach and education on the importance of being counted in the 2020 Census.
An abundance of research shows that high-quality Pre-K and full-day kindergarten result in tangible learning benefits for our youngest students, leading to long-term educational success. This bill ensures these early learning opportunities are available to all families and eliminating financial barriers that widen the opportunity gap among Colorado’s children.
Every day Coloradans are denied mental health or substance use treatment, put on a wait-list for months without care, or forced to pay out-of-pocket costs — ultimately not getting services that should be covered by their health insurance. State and federal laws require insurance carriers to provide coverage for mental health or substance use disorders that is equal to physical care (these are called parity laws), but these laws only work if they are enforced. This bill aims to remedy this disparity under both private health insurers and the state’s Medicaid plan.
2018 Legislative Activities
In 2018, Clayton Early Learning successfully advocated for six important pieces of legislation being considered by the Colorado General Assembly, each of which was enacted into state law.