CDHS statement on SB 201, the Elle Matthews Act for Increased Safety in Child Care

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DENVER (June 16, 2021) — Michelle Barnes, executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), and Mary Alice Cohen, director of the Office of Early Childhood, released the following statement on Colorado Senate Bill 21-201. In honor and memory of Elle Matthews, the bill names section 26-6-112 of the Colorado Revised Statutes the Elle Matthews Act for Increased Safety in Child Care.

“It is simply devastating to us when a child dies in an illegal child care setting. We at CDHS have been taking a series of actions to stop illegal child care and prevent tragedies. SB 21-201 is an important step for us to share the details regarding illegal child care providers,” said Barnes.

"We all have a role to play in keeping children safe at child care," said Cohen. "We are committed to community and parental education to increase awareness of what safe child care looks like; and strict enforcement to ensure providers who are putting children's safety at risk are not allowed to continue operating. Together with parents, partners and community members, we can ensure all children have safe and enriching experiences in their earliest years."

SB 21-201 requires CDHS to post on its website the name and location of any child care provider operating illegally if such provider has received one or more cease-and-desist order(s). The new law also increases penalties for providing illegal child care.  

For more information on how to find quality, licensed child care, visit the Colorado Shines website.

Media contact:
Mark Techmeyer
Director of Communications