Colorado is putting $275 million toward child care expenses for families in money received under the federal American Rescue Plan, the administration Gov. Jared Polis announced Monday.
The governor’s office said the federal money would also go to “offer operating expenses” for more than 24,000 early childhood teachers as well as the state’s 4,700 child care centers.
According to the Office of Early Childhood (OEC), more than $267 million will be spent on stabilization grants, workforce retention grants and helping cover the cost of child care. The remaining funds will go towards early education programs and training opportunities for early childhood teachers.
“As families work to emerge stronger from this pandemic, it is critical that quality childcare is accessible and affordable to all Colorado families,” Polis said in a statement. “This investment will save families money and help parents get back to work while providing opportunities for our children to learn, grow and succeed.”
Mary Alice Cohen, who leads the OEC, said the fund “reflects both the immediate and long-term needs of our early childhood community.”
The OEC previously received $161 million in federal relief funds and an additional $45 million from state legislation to support programs.
According to a study by Move.org, Colorado is the 11th most expensive state for child care, with an average cost of $13,858 per year.
For comparison, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the state’s median income is over $72,000. This means that the average cost of child care can represent more than 19 percent of a person’s income.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times