The Colorado Department of Human Services recently announced that Grand and Summit County and the Rural Resorts Region – Northeastern Division will receive $82,455.48 to increase access to high-quality child care for low-income infants and toddlers.
The funding is the result of successful passage of HB 13-1291, which created the Colorado Infant and Toddler Quality and Availability Grant Program. In all, 20 counties and 11 Early Childhood Councils will receive nearly $3 million.
Colorado Representative Crisanta Duran (D-Den) and Colorado Senator John Kefalas (D-Ft. Collins) co-sponsored the bill.
“CDHS, the Legislature, and our county partners and stakeholders all recognize how critical the first three years of any child’s life are to future development,” said Reggie Bicha, executive director, CDHS.
“These grantees, representing rural and urban areas of our state, will provide increased access to high-quality infant and toddler child care, which builds children’s cognitive, emotional, and physical skills to enter school ready to learn.”
County departments of social services will work in these key areas for children: to increase the number for low-income infants and toddlers who can attend high-quality early learning programs; to provide greater reimbursements from the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program to high quality early learning programs to improve the services they provide children; to promote collaboration among counties to create a system for achieving goals for success; and, to provide staff training, professional development, and toys, books, and games that help develop young minds. Counties and councils must apply annually for the funding through the Colorado Department of Human Services.