There isn’t much debate that quality child care is expensive in Colorado, stretching parents’ pocketbooks and providers’ lean budgets. A new report released today recommends a raft of policy changes that could help ease the financial burden for families with young children and the child care providers who serve them.
The report calls for expanded federal, state and local investments in programs such as the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program, which is primarily funded by a federal block grant, the state’s Colorado Preschool Program, as well as assistance programs funded by various municipalities.
In addition to recommending changes to things like income thresholds, co-pays and reimbursement rates in existing assistance programs, the report proposes creating incentives for private businesses to create family-friendly childcare policies. It also recommends changes that would eliminate some of the red tape families encounter when applying for child care assistance and providers face when they have to braid together multiple funding sources to pay for a child’s slot.
The report is the third in a series produced over the past seven months by Qualistar Colorado, the Colorado Children’s Campaign and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. The first report looked at the varying cost of child care across the state and the second looked at the key factors that impact the cost of care. All three reports are available here.