Business Community Priorities for Early Education
Organization Sign On Opportunity
The Passage of Proposition EE by voters in November 2020 established a graduated tax increase on tobacco and nicotine vaping products, and created an historic opportunity to invest in the health and early education of Colorado children through the establishment of universal preschool. Beginning in 2023, Proposition EE is expected to raise approximately $222 million annually to create and operate a universal preschool program so kids in their year before kindergarten have access to quality early childhood care and education. Children who attend preschool are less likely to have reading deficiencies, half as likely to be held back by third grade, and more likely to graduate on time and achieve long term career success.
Over 62,000 children are born each year in Colorado and approximately 67% of children live in households where all parents participate in the paid labor force. Colorado also has the eighth highest cost of child care for families across the US, so universal access to preschool supports the financial stability of families and Colorado’s workforce participation, economic productivity, and employee retention. At the same time, the revenue for universal preschool access will strengthen the early child care and education industry with funding that can support quality environments, facility infrastructure investments, and improved compensation for early childhood educators.
The Colorado Preschool Program currently only serves 23% of 4-year-old children in Colorado and expanded access to a variety of preschool programs is required to meet the needs of all working families. With bordering states serving 80-plus percent of 4-year-olds, Colorado is at risk of children falling behind if the passage of Proposition EE is not taken as an opportunity to change how the state supports families and children.
Adaptive innovation and user-centered design have been key to the economic success and growth witnessed in Colorado’s economy. Using these key principles, business leaders see the impending universal preschool design process as a catalyst to reimagine a complicated and fractured system that currently places a significant burden on Colorado families and the businesses providing early childhood care and preschool education.
Many Colorado business leaders and their organizations supported Proposition EE, with the goal of investing in the success and skills of the future workforce while supporting the needs of the current workforce. The Colorado business community seeks to shape policy and the creation of a universal preschool program that:
Children and Families: Ensuring Access for All students
Support Colorado’s future workforce and economic development by ensuring all children have access to quality preschool experiences.
Empower family choice and individualize funding to meet unique child needs and streamline with other community investments.
Ensure all children have access to preschool and prioritize those with the greatest need.
Preschool Providers: Ensuring Access for All Licensed Providers
Ensure participation and public funding is equally accessible to all licensed preschool providers.
Address long-term capacity needs and reduce barriers to entry for individuals seeking opportunities to open child care and preschool programs.
Design and Implementation: Ensuring Agility, Innovation, Efficiency, and Transparency
Design processes and systems with simplicity, efficiency, and ease of use for families and preschool providers.
Implement program administration with agility, innovation, and transparency.
Please enter your information to be added to the list of organizations in support of this legislation. Please note: the name of your organization may be published by EPIC on our website and shared across our communications channels. If you have any questions, please contact us via email.