CDHS announces plans to increase support for families in need of child care

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April 23, 2020 (DENVER) — Today, the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) announced actions it is taking to help vulnerable families who need access to child care during the COVID-19 crisis and the coming recovery period.

First, for families who receive subsidized child care through the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP), the state will extend the amount of time a family qualifies for CCCAP while searching for a job or waiting to resume an educational or training program from three months to six months. With many industries slowing or stopping hiring, this extended eligibility provides children with stable early childhood education while families secure new employment during this unprecedented time. 

The state is also extending eligibility for all families currently enrolled in CCCAP by an additional three months, from 12 months to 15 months, over the next year. This also provides stability for participating families, ensuring continued access to high-quality child care. 

Finally, CDHS, through a public-private partnership with Mile High United Way, the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA), the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, and Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC), is supporting the Keep the Lights on Fund. Through this public-private partnership, an initial bulk purchase of supplies, including gloves, bleach and paper towels, is being made to support an estimated 1,200 child care providers. This unprecedented coordination among Early Childhood Councils and local partners in the distribution of supplies is critical at a time when supplies are difficult to purchase on an individual basis, and child care providers may have had to close (or may close in the future) because they could not access the necessary cleaning supplies to operate safely. Assisting these providers will help them keep their doors open, and help families who depend on these providers for care. 

“These changes help us support all Colorado families,” says CDHS Executive Director Michelle Barnes. “We are committed to ensuring families have access to safe, affordable child care, and child care providers have what they need to operate safely.”

Madlynn Ruble
Deputy Director of Communications