Pettersen Bill to Remove Childcare Barriers Passes First Test

(Jan. 26) – Rep. Brittany Pettersen’s bill to find ways to increase access to childcare for parents who are pursuing an education passed 7-6 today on a party-line vote out of the Public Health Care and Human Services Committee. HB16-1050 creates a task force to coordinate resources and address the many barriers that stand in the way of parents seeking to advance their education and careers.

“This bill will help remove barriers for parents of young children who are working hard to advance their education and move toward self-sufficiency,” said Rep. Pettersen, D-Lakewood. “Colorado is one of the most expensive states in the country for child care, and that burden hurts parents who are seeking to provide a better life for themselves and their families.”

The legislation is part of a two-generation approach to bring more families in to the middle class. Supporting a parent’s education—and a lifetime of higher earnings—is an investment in the whole family. Parental education and income directly impact child success in school.

“Single mothers can spend up to half of their earnings on childcare just for one child,” said Louise Myrland, Vice President of Community Initiatives and Investments for the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. “We are confident that the task force will identify innovative ideas that will increase access to affordable child care.”

“People deserve the opportunity to have a good life. If you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve access to child care,” said Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, a co-sponsor of the bill. “This task force will create a high level conversation to come up with the answers that will work.”

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