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Action Alert: Bolster Colorado’s Early Care and Education Workforce

// January 30, 2020

Take Action Today to Bolster Colorado’s ECE Workforce

Everyone depends on someone who depends on child care

A well-supported early care and education (ECE) workforce is critical to Colorado’s economic vitality. Yet, many families cannot access high-quality child care because of cost and capacity issues. Early education workforce challenges are creating instability in the industry and increasing the unaffordability of child care due to high turnover. Currently, there is only licensed capacity for roughly 60% of the 247,000 children under six years old with all parents in the workforce.

Impact on families, businesses, and Colorado’s economy

  • Impact on families:
    • More than 12 percent of Colorado children under six had a parent who reported that they or another family member had to quit a job, not take a job, or change their job because of problems with child care
  • Impact on businesses:
    • With Colorado’s low unemployment rate, finding candidates to fill open positions is already a challenge
    • If child care supply can’t meet demand in these areas, employers will struggle to attract and retain a qualified workforce
    • Use of paid early care and education is highly correlated with women’s labor force participation
  • Impact on Colorado economy:
    • In Colorado alone, more than $640 million in direct output is generated within the child care sector
    • The industry is estimated to support about $720 million in additional indirect and induced output in other industry sectors, for an estimated combined total of $1.4 billion in output in Colorado’s economy

Two WFCO priority bills, HB20-1043 and HB20-1053, will help attract, train, and retain vital ECE educators

  • HB20-1043 – Income Tax Credit for Early Childhood Education Fix – Encourages improvements in providers’ quality, improves compensation of the ECE workforce, increases access to child care providers for families facing the greatest barriers
  • HB20-1053 – Supports for the Early Childhood Education Workforce – Streamlines pathways to the classroom for aspiring educators, establishes ECE recruitment and retention scholarships and grants, creates apprenticeships

Reaching out to your legislators

When you contact your state senator and representative (use this link to find out who they are) remember the following:

  • Tell them you are a constituent; legislators pay attention to those who put – and keep – them in office.
  • Communicate aspects important to you in your own words; legislators prefer not to receive standardized emails and/or calls.
  • Include something specific to your district (a personal story, something you saw/heard, why this matter is especially important to you, etc.).

For a phone call:

  • Introduce yourself as a constituent and include your affiliation with The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, as well as your professional affiliation or role in the community.
  • Convey that supporting the early care and education workforce is vital for Colorado kids, their families, and our community.
  • Please vote yes when the House Finance Committee votes on HB20-1043 on February 13th.

For an email:

Dear Representative [ENTER LAST NAME],

My name is [ENTER NAME] and I am a supporter of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado as well as a [INSERT PROFESSIONAL TITLE (optional). e.g.: business owner, educator etc]. I strongly encourage your support of HB20-1043, which would bolster Colorado’s early care and education workforce.
We all depend on someone who depends on affordable, accessible, and high-quality child care.

[INSERT A FACT AND/OR PERSONAL STORY HERE FROM THE LANGUAGE ABOVE THAT FEELS COMPELLING TO YOU.]

As one of your constituents, I ask you to please vote in support of HB20-1043 when the House Finance Committee votes on February 13th.

Sincerely,
[ENTER NAME]

For more tips on how to be an advocate for women, visit our civic engagement page.

 

 

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