To the Editor:
As a teacher with 21 years of experience in the classroom, I am excited to welcome Colorado state legislators back to session!
I look forward to seeing our policymakers invest in kids in 2020, particularly by expanding pre-school and supporting child care workforce development.
Investing in quality and affordable preschool and other early childhood education programs is an excellent use of resources. Research shows that children who receive a quality early education are 20 percent more likely to graduate from high school and will go on to earn, on average, 50 percent more than their peers.
In 2020, Colorado legislators have the opportunity to expand early learning for Colorado’s kids by supporting Governor Polis’ proposed 2020 state budget. This budget calls for an addition $27.6 million to decrease the Colorado Preschool waitlist, creating 6,000 new preschool spots for our state’s early learners.
Child care is another important component of early learning. In Colorado, 51 percent of people live in child care deserts. This legislative session, legislators will also have the opportunity to support workforce bills that will increase access to, and availability of, child care. Such bills would create more affordable and flexible pathways for professionals to enter and remain in the child care workforce.
Colorado’s children deserve the best start in life, and our state legislators have the opportunity to make this happen in 2020. I urge the Colorado General Assembly to support the governor’s budget for preschool, and support child care workforce legislation.
Investing in kids is an investment in Colorado’s future.