Senate Bill 19-063: Concerning a Strategic Action Plan to Address Infant and Family Child Care Home Shortages in Colorado

Background

Since 2010, Colorado has seen a decline of 1582 family child care homes (FCCH) and a resultant decline in more than 7300 licensed infant slots. These trends are concerning. The availability of safe, quality, licensed infant care is critical for working Colorado families. Additionally, family child care homes play an important role in our early childhood care and education system, offering families a smaller environment; the accommodation of nontraditional hours; and convenient, available licensed care where centers do not exist. In response to these trends, Senate Bill 19-063 requires the Department of Human Services, in consultation with the Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC) and various stakeholders, to study the reasons for the declining availability of family child care homes and infant child care. Following this study, a Strategic Action Plan with recommendations to address the shortages is to be drafted and submitted to the legislature by December 1, 2019.

Support/Impact Survey on Long List of Recommendations

From the stakeholder process described below, we have identified a long list of key issues causing the declining availability of family child care homes and infant care, as well as a number of proposed recommendations to address those issues. To help determine which recommendations should be included in the final Strategic Action Plan for the legislature, we want to hear from you!  

We want to know whether you support each recommendation and the level of impact you think it would have if implemented.  You can provide us that feedback on recommendations for every issue, or only those that are most relevant to your work.  However you choose to complete it, please take time to complete this survey by Thursday, October 10th.

Toolkit

The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) and Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC) are gathering stakeholder input on: 1) the reasons for the decline in family child care homes and infant care, and 2) possible recommendations to be included in the Strategic Action Plan. To ensure geographic diversity in that feedback, Raise Colorado, the OEC and the ECLC created a toolkit that organizations across Colorado could utilize to host a local conversation about Senate Bill 19-063. In addition to information on hosting an event, the toolkit also included a direct link to the text of the legislation, more information about the issues, and the Office of Early Childhood’s process for implementing the legislation. We hope you found it useful whether you were hosting an event or just curious to learn more about the bill!

Check out the toolkit here!

Thanks to support from the National Governors Association (NGA), which awarded a Prenatal to Age Three grant to the Office of Governor Jared Polis to support the development and implementation of policies to integrate and advance services for children prenatal to age 3 in Colorado, the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) and the Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC) offered a limited amount of funding available to reimburse up to $500 for expenses related to hosting a local SB63 discussion, including meeting space, food, stipends, translation, child care, or other event expenses.  

All eleven (11) communities that applied were funded!  Through this grant process we received feedback from communities in the following areas: Garfield, Larimer, Jefferson, San Luis Valley, El Paso, La Plata, Montezuma & Dolores, Chafee, City of Aspen, Longmont, and Weld.  In addition to those communities that utilized grant funding to hold a local discussion on SB63, we also received toolkit-based feedback from meetings held in: Boulder, Telluride, San Juan Region, Yuma & Kit Carson, and Grand, Summit, Routt & Moffat.  Thank you to all those who shared their thoughts with us!