Child care is not affordable for most parents – with increasing monthly costs that average at least a third of a household’s income.
Colorado consistently ranks amongst the most expensive states in the country regarding cost of child care – and we have too few providers. As a child who grew up poor on a single mother’s income, I understand that these price tags are already out of reach and things are about to get much worse as we approach the “child care cliff”: when pandemic-era federal funding expires on September 30, 2023.
In Colorado, the impending “child care cliff” is a ticking time bomb set to disrupt the lives of 83,164 children and their families. Starting September 30, federal childcare investment will plummet, leading to the closure of 1,088 childcare programs. This crisis will force parents to cut work hours or leave the workforce altogether, costing Colorado parents $277.6 million in lost earnings and the state $308 million in reduced employer productivity.
As a State Senate candidate, board member of several youth advocacy organizations, and the son of a public school teacher who started a daycare in our tiny apartment, I understand the urgency of this issue. At the State Capitol, I’m committed to championing policies that stabilize and expand childcare programs, support early educators, and make childcare affordable for all families. My long-term vision is to provide universal childcare (and elder care), because care is a human right and we must ensure the well-being of our children and families.
I’m also a community activist, so I’m not just talking; I’m taking action now. I’m sending a letter to our federal delegation, urging them to address this impending crisis. But I can’t do it alone. We all need to act now to avoid going over the childcare cliff. The time for action is now. Let’s come together as a community to protect our children, support our families, and safeguard our future.
Obi Ezeadi, Westminster