Highlights from the state’s early childhood policy advocacy community include:7
HB23-1091: Child Care Contribution Tax Credit Renewal: Renews the Child Care Contribution Tax Credit (CCTC) for an additional three years. Child care providers rely on the donations incentivized by the CCTC (an estimated $60 million yearly, statewide) to fund their core programs, increase quality and wages, improve access to care for families, expand their capacity, and provide professional training and career pathway support for staff.
HB23-1290: Retain Revenue for Universal Preschool: Refers a question to November 2023 voters about whether to retain excess revenue raised from Proposition EE, a ballot measure Coloradans passed overwhelmingly in 2020. Prop EE raised taxes on tobacco and nicotine products to fund a free, voluntary universal preschool program. Retaining the additional revenue will allow Colorado to provide universal preschool services and extend additional preschool programming to more children, especially those with qualifying factors who need it most.
SB23-269: Colorado Preschool Program Provider Bonus Payments: Gives participating providers in universal preschool a much-needed financial boost, and the bonus structure is targeted to make the most impact possible with a fixed amount of funding. The bonuses provided by this bill will support providers new to participating in state-run pre-k, providers who maintain or expand their infant and toddler slots, and providers in “low-capacity preschool areas” – areas of the state that are not currently able to meet the demand for universal preschool.
HB23-1300: Multi-Year Continuous Eligibility for Medicaid and CHP+ : Allows the state to provide continuous Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) coverage to children from birth to age 3 and to provide 12 months of coverage for Coloradans leaving state prison. The bill also creates a study of how to improve the state Medicaid program to support Coloradans’ health, food security, and housing stability. Extending Medicaid and CHP+ coverage for young kids and people leaving carceral settings builds on a successful pandemic-era policy, improving oral and behavioral health, well-being, and access to health services for thousands of Coloradans during critical life periods.
SB23-017: Additional Uses of Paid Sick Leave: Expands on Colorado’s paid sick leave law and explicitly added school and place of care closures to the list of allowable reasons for an employee to use paid sick leave. Notably, this bill does not require the family member attending a school or place of care to be a minor child and will cover adults in care as well.
HB23-1006: Employer Notice of Income Tax Credits: Requires Colorado employers to notify employees of the availability of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, the state Earned Income Tax Credit, the federal Child Tax Credit, and the state Child Tax Credit. Colorado families are missing out and leaving money on the table- this bill will provide employees notice once a year from their employer, so they are better able to identify their eligibility potential.
HB23-1246: Support In Demand Career Workforce: Will provide a no cost credential option for people entering the field of early childhood education to create a strong incentive for new teachers to explore opportunities.