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Be A Difference Maker

MEMBER INTEREST

Are you a forward-thinking executive who values making a difference as a key component of business success?

Our members are leaders in their fields who are driving lasting change by expanding thought leadership around early child care and education as the foundation to economic growth and societal transformation.

Join this prestigious group of powerful business leaders and support our important work, including:

  • Raising awareness of the importance of early child care and education
  • Championing new policy solutions
  • Providing tools and innovative strategies to help businesses support the development, recruitment, and retention of employees

TWO MEMBERSHIP LEVELS

Network Members

  • Network with other prestigious leaders
    • EPIC’s Annual Business Leaders Dinner (Fall) – Free to members
    • Annual Business Leaders Dinner VIP Reception (Governor invited)
    • Annual early childhood learning/networking event (Spring)
  • Stay informed with advanced intelligence & tools
    • Obtain behind-the-scenes intelligence and give your input during EPIC’s Policy Pop-Up Calls
    • Receive member-only updates on early childhood policy and innovative workplace strategies
    • Receive basic technical assistance from subject matter experts regarding on-site and contracted child care initiatives
    • Enjoy a discounted member rate for on-site trainings and project consultation
    • Access to consulting and the employer-toolkit
  • Contribute thought leadership to key initiatives
    • Participate in ad-hoc membership work groups concerning advocacy and early childhood initiatives
    • Bring ideas and improvements to the employer toolkit and other outreach and education efforts
    • Participate in turn-key donation/volunteer programs to engage employees around early literacy awareness through Colorado Business Reads partnerships with Book Trust and Reach Out and Read Colorado.

Executive Members*

  • Participate at Network Member level
  • Contribute senior-level, visionary leader direction
  • Invited to participate on the EPIC Board Policy & Initiatives Committees
  • Participate in exclusive, invitation-only VIP roundtables and private events with high profile business leaders, policymakers, and speakers
  • Eligible for nomination and election to the EPIC Board of Directors**
  • Co-branding opportunities with EPIC on events and social campaigns**

*Nomination from current EPIC Executive or Board Member required to become an Executive Member
**Subject to approval

Become an EPIC leader and improve the quality of the workforce, business success, and economic prosperity both today and into the future.

WORKPLACE SUPPORT

Child care is one of the biggest concerns working parents have. Available care enhances employee contributions, while advancing early education creates a stronger and more diverse next generation of talent.

Forward-thinking companies foster their success today, and also improve their future financial outlook. Through access to early education, they are developing a talented future workforce, ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow.

EPIC is helping to initiate change and shaping the future of Colorado through action-oriented conversations with business associations, government leaders and other organizations, supporting the creation of family-friendly work environments and increasing access to child care and early education.

Connect with us to learn how to implement new programs at your workplace, and support your employees, and navigate the Federal Tax Credits that may be available to your company.

Be sure to check out the Colorado Department of Early Childhood in partnership with EPIC developed an Employer-Based Child Care Feasibility and Assessment Guide. This innovative guide offers insight into the process of exploring employer-based child care. It equips readers with tools and resources, guiding them through the initial steps of identifying whether employer-based child care aligns with an employer’s interests.

If you are a committed company that understands that people are the drivers of your economic success, you may want to join us in leaving a legacy of a changed future.

HOW WE HAVE HELPED

“The EPIC team has been a great partner to us in our journey at Guild in opening up our first employer-sponsored daycare and preschool. Guild has about 750 employees, headquartered here in Denver. A little over a year ago we embarked journey to open a day care and preschool in downtown Denver. What we are really hoping to do is build a play book with organizations such as EPIC and DDP so that any company that wants to figure out how to be supportive of their working parents and supportive of their community in a way that takes care of the children of their workers can do so creatively and with a real understanding of the risks and rewards. We aim to cut through some the myth and legend in a way that makes clear there is a real ROI in investing in these programs and opportunities for employees.”

Rachel Carlson
CEO & Co-Founder Guild Education

ADVOCATE

EPIC members are business leaders who are committed to early childhood care and education. Our members understand that the business community has a unique understanding of the importance of advancing policies that support the workforce of today while developing the workforce of tomorrow. EPIC serves as the business community’s voice in support of early childhood policies and investments in early childhood. Learn more about our policy and advocacy priorities here. 

Throughout the year, our members meet with key policymakers and legislators, providing leadership in advancing the needs of children. We hope you’ll join us in impacting policy that will shape the future for generations to come. Become a member now to show your support and get involved in this important work!

Our members are effective and influential champions for children! Join us by:

  • Signing onto editorials in support of early childhood
  • Speaking with media partners about the importance of early childhood
  • Testifying in support of early childhood legislation
  • Contacting your state and federal representatives to advocate for early childhood policy
  • Sharing out information with other business leaders and partners

POLICY ADVOCACY PRIORITY ACTIONS

Child-Friendly Communities

EPIC is leading efforts to create more “child-friendly” communities by prioritizing the development of child care facilities and streamlining the regulatory process for potential operators.

Read our latest Child-Friendly Communities white paper, Clearing the Path for New Child Care Supply: Solutions for Child-Friendly Planning, Housing, and Community Development  (Clearing the Path – Executive Summary) and learn more about the 2024 Child-Friendly Communities legislation.

Sign on as a supporter of Child-Friendly Communities today! 

Colorado Child Care Contribution Tax Credit (CCTC)

The CCTC was last renewed in 2023. It provides a 50% income tax credit up to $100,000 for eligible contributions to support child care. The 2023 legislation required the Department of Revenue DOR to complete a study and report to improve administration of the tax credit and consider the inclusion of eligibility for in-kind real property donations.

Learn more about the CCTC and sign up for DOR’s CCTC workgroup email list (check “Tax Workgroup – HB23-1091 Child Care Contribution Credit Study”).

**The Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Taxation, is hosting workgroup meetings in early 2024 to study the Colorado Child Care Contribution Credit (CCTC). Learn more about the CCTC workgroups here.

Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) Rule-Making

CDEC has a Rules Advisory Committee (RAC) that make recommendations to the Executive Director on rule changes. These rules impact important operational and programmatic changes for early childhood services in Colorado.

See what rules are under consideration.

COLORADO BUSINESS READS

Before a child enters kindergarten, their most critical brain development occurs. When early literacy skills are imparted on children, they become successful readers and grow up to contribute to our communities and the workforce of the future.

Since 2013, EPIC’s Colorado Business Reads, a statewide book drive, has delivered more than 600,000 books to children who don’t have a home library. Books from businesses around the state have been collected and distributed to community programs such as:

  • A Precious Child
  • Reach Out & Read Colorado
  • Food Bank of the Rockies (Backpacks & Bites Program)
  • Pueblo EPIC & Young Readers Program
  • Early Childhood Councils across Colorado
  • And many more!

Organizations including the Colorado Rockies and The UPS Store have been instrumental in supporting EPIC’s book drives that enable children to develop a love of reading in their most formative years.

By becoming a member you can join EPIC in providing early literacy resources to children in need. Get involved, help Colorado kids and families, and increase employee engagement in your company through volunteer opportunities. You can make a difference! Click here to become a member and learn more about our partnerships with Reach Out and Read Colorado and Book Trust.

BUILDING UP EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (ECE)

ESSENTIAL FOR A THRIVING ECONOMY

Child care is an essential industry and key to building a balanced and thriving economy that meets the needs of Coloradans. A strong, sustainable child care and early education system is an economic imperative. This critical infrastructure keeps businesses thriving, families contributing, and provides a foundation for children’s future success.

The high cost of child care and early learning often keeps parents out of the workforce.

Colorado has the 8th highest cost of child care in the country. The cost of full-time infant care averages near $1,300 per month in Colorado and can easily surpass $2,000 per month for infant care in areas like Denver. A family earning the state median income of roughly $73,000 per year would spend almost 40% of their income on child care for an infant and a 4-year-old.

Shortages in early education professionals and child care slots jeopardize employee retention.

Since 2011, Colorado has lost nearly one-third of the licensed infant child care slots. In addition, hundreds of in-home child care providers have closed across the state. These providers offer the most infant and toddler care, extended hours, and evening or weekend care. At the same time, the early childhood teachers caring for children are making an average wage of $26,000 per year and are unable to support their own families.

A STRESSED BUSINESS MODEL RIPE FOR INNOVATION 

The child care cost structure, coupled with communities where families cannot afford to pay high market rates, makes it difficult to build and sustain a child care program from the onset. Increasing early childhood revenue streams, while reducing expenses for child care businesses would provide relief to the industry. Over the next two years, EPIC proposes to bring business leaders from real estate development, homebuilding, finance, construction and other industries together to create innovative solutions that address Colorado’s critical child care infrastructure needs.

Learn more how you can help us change the child care business equation and our phased approach to improving access and affordability to high quality child care and early learning experiences.

The Building Up Initiative will create innovative solutions to improve access to affordable, high-quality early learning for children and the ability for families to work. Click here to share our one pager with your network. 

Interested in learning more about Building Up and joining as a subject matter expert?  Click Here 

EMPLOYER-BASED CHILD CARE DESIGN LAB

It’s no secret that the pandemic has brought the importance of quality, affordable child care for the workforce to the forefront of the conversation. In politics, business, education, and the lives of millions of families this is a topic of hardship that has been building pressure for a long time in Colorado and across the nation. In a recent article in the Colorado Sun, The Colorado Children’s Campaign estimated that about 64% of Colorado families had to alter their child care plans and lives due to the pandemic (Julig, 2021).

Employers have been hit hard by this deficit, as employees from entry to executive level are leaving the workforce and struggling to return. Employers and entities across the state are taking action to help relieve the pressure on working families, through the development of on or near-site child care programs and other creative family benefits that aim to offer both access, flexibility, and affordability for their employees, while building critical child care supply in their region.

To continue guiding this incredible effort to success, the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) has partnered with EPIC to bring back the Employer-Based Child Care Design Lab, a unique opportunity for employers to gain the knowledge necessary to plan an on-site or near-site child care facility through direct support and community partnerships while developing a competitive grant application for up to $800,000 in state funding for their projects. The Design Lab 3.0 will run from February 2024 thru May 2024.

LEARN MORE ABOUT DESIGN LAB 3.0

LEARN ABOUT PREVIOUS DESIGN LABS

100% of design lab 2.0 participants felt they had the tools to support the design, decision making, and launch, of an on-site or near-site child care center.

Community Hospital Utilized Design Lab to Address the Child Care Needs of Their Staff
A lack of accessible and affordable childcare was identified as a community need in Mesa County. As a result, Community Hospital took action and recently broke ground on “Adventure Academy,” a new, onsite early child care and early education facility.

Learn how Steamboat Ski Resort used Design Lab to help Solve Their Child Care Challenge
In December, Steamboat Ski and Resort opened their new employer-based child care facility. Listen to our podcast below on how they “got over their skis” to tackle the problem of a lack of child care with collaboration from EPIC’s Design Lab.

Learn how Mile High United Way used Design Lab to change the game and put on-site child care at their Denver office location
Mile High United Way listened to the community’s needs and is building an Early Childhood Education Center with a focus on the infant and toddler age. Listen to our podcast below on how this is a “…journey that can be challenging, yet so worth it” with the use of EPIC’s Design Lab.

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