Many families have felt the pressure of finding child care during covid in 2020. Essential workers scrambled to look for child care due to school closures while they still had to go to work. Unfortunately, many had to stop working and stay at home with their children because it was more affordable or simply the only option available. Well, now Colorado has passed a couple of new laws that may possibly be a game-changer for child care employees and families who depend on child care for their children. With child care being one of the top causes for job loss or career change amidst the pandemic, we’re excited to hear about the new laws that can be life-changing for families.
Bill SB21-236 is invested in making early child care education more accessible than ever. It has created several grants to increase the accessibility of child care for facilitators, employers, and employees. According to the Colorado General Assembly, there are 4 specific programs created for these grants:
Bill SB21-201 is in honor of The Elle Matthews Act, the act was made when a child, Elle Matthews died in the care of an illegal child care facility. The bill now requires to post names and locations of facilities running illegally and facilities that have more than one cease and desist order against them. It disqualifies these facilitators from applying for money programs for child care providers and raises the guilty offense if the facility does not handle the matter appropriately.
Child care facilities can use the grants to help with any losses during the pandemic, to keep up with the health and safety measure during covid, and to help recruit more families as parents head back to work. The grant is open to and available to every registered child care facility, from private and public schools to preschool, and kinder care. One of the grants also helps employers invest in child care in or near their building to make it accessible for employees.
Furthermore, the guidelines for CCCAP (a program to help pay for low-income families that need child care) have been modified to help include families that did not meet the income criteria and allows more funds to be available for more families to apply and get approved.
With child care being one of the top concerns for former employees going in to post covid, we hope the new laws help build the employment rate by supporting the numerous families who lost their job to regain access to their careers again and by giving more people the option to look for jobs without feeling that child care is inaccessible. Visit the Colorado Department of Human Services for more information about child care assistance.
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