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Polis introduces a nationwide plan to bolster access to affordable preschool and child care
Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act today, a nationwide plan to ensure that all families have access to affordable, quality preschool and child care.
“Education, from early childhood through college, is the single best investment we can make in our future. Sadly, many parents are priced-out of high-quality preschool and child care,” said Polis. “No child should be denied a good start just because of their family's economic circumstances, and no parent should have to be faced with the burden of not being able to afford the very best for their kids. The Child Care for Working Families Act will finally give families access to high-quality child care and preschool.”
The Child Care for Working Families Act would create a federal-state partnership to ensure families making less than 150 percent of their state’s median income do not pay more than seven percent of their income on child care. The bill also supports access to high-quality preschool programs for low- and moderate-income 3- and 4-year olds. Finally, the bill would support our nation’s child care workforce by significantly improving wages and training for teachers and caregivers.
Over 100 organizations have endorsed the Child Care for Working Families Act, and a local Colorado expert, Dr. Pamela Harris, president and CEO of Mile High Early Learning, testified on the importance of supporting early childhoodeducation before the House Education and Workforce Committee in July.
“Coloradans of every background and in every corner of our state consistently demand quality early care and education services in their communities. This need is driven by two things: parents must work to support their families, and they want stimulating early experiences for their kids. We know only half of our 3- and 4-year-olds in Colorado are able to attend preschool, and yet nearly two thirds of children under 6 have all available parents in the workforce. This legislation would help Colorado begin to close that gap, and move our communities forward by investing in children and families at a critical point in their lives,” said Bill Jaeger, vice president of Early Childhood Initiatives, Colorado Children’s Campaign.
The Child Care for Working Families Act is a part of the Democratic economic agenda to offer working families A Better Deal. Affordable child care is just one of many proposals Democrats put forth to build an economy that works for all, not just those at the top.
Polis serves on the Committee on Education and the Workforce. He is the top-Democrat on the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee and a member of the Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee. Polis is the former chair of the Colorado State Board of Education, and the founder and former superintendent of The New America School - a network of charter schools in several states serving new immigrants and English-language learners - as well as the Academy for Urban Learning for homeless and at-risk youth. The district he represents today includes Colorado State University and University of Colorado.
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