Affordable Child Care

(March 7) – A bill by Rep. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, to align state statute with federal law and thereby increase access to affordable child care passed the House by voice vote this morning.
HB16-1183 modifies state statute to specify that a child receiving Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) support will be eligible for services for an entire year before eligibility is redetermined, as long as the child’s family income remains below 85 percent of the state median income for that family size.
“This bill aligns state statute with federal guidelines,” said Rep. Buckner. “If the state does not comply with the new federal guidelines, we would lose $70 million from the federal government. This bill increases access to affordable child care for Colorado families by ensuring eligibility for a full year.”
A raise in wages or increase in hours that brings a family slightly over the income limit can make a child ineligible for CCCAP. A sudden ruling of ineligibility harms the child, parent, and child care center. The child loses out on early learning, the parent can lose their job if they miss work due to lack of child care, and child care centers face decreased funding.
Colorado receives approximately $69 million each year in Child Care and Development Fund federal funding. With matching funds and maintenance of effort, that leverages to a total of about $88 million received. The bill must be passed by Sept. 30, 2016, or the state will risk losing all of these federal funds.
The bill continues to a third reading on the House floor.

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