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June 6, 2024

Bipartisan Bill to Expand Bilingual Early Childhood Programs Signed Into Law

DENVER, CO – Governor Jared Polis signed into law today a bipartisan bill to make early childhood education in Colorado more inclusive and accessible.

HB24-1009, sponsored by Representatives Junie Joseph, D-Boulder, and Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango, and Senator Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, expands bilingual early childhood programs and facilities with a new bilingual licensing unit in the Department of Early Childhood.

“Coloradans across our state are searching for high-quality, affordable bilingual early childhood programs and this law will help more Spanish-speaking providers get licensed,” said Joseph. “This law improves bilingual outreach within the Department of Early Childhood Education to better support Spanish-speaking providers seeking professional licensure. Bilingual early childhood programs make education more accessible, inclusive, and culturally-centered for some of our youngest learners.”

“Every Colorado family deserves access to high-quality, affordable early childhood education, but those resources aren’t available to every family who needs them,” Ginal said. “This new law will help improve bilingual outreach to help Spanish-speaking providers get licensed, which will make our early childhood system more accessible and inclusive. Bilingual early childhood programs will help children grow and learn, and give more families access to the early childhood services they deserve.”

“Early childhood education is the foundation to preparing our students for a lifetime of success,” said McLachlan. “This important law makes bilingual early childhood programs more accessible in Colorado by improving outreach and connection with Spanish-speaking providers. When children have access to education in their primary language, they can grow, learn and succeed, and this law helps address some of the accessibility issues our state has when it comes to bilingual early childhood programs.”

Also sponsored by Senator Janice Rich, R-Grand Junction, the new law expands licensed child care options across the state by improving outreach and helping Spanish-speaking providers get licensed, while providing more linguistically relevant child care options for children and families.

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