The Chaffee County Early Childhood Council (CCECC) saw nearly 30 people in attendance at its Thursday, Sept. 5 meeting to discuss Chaffee County’s obstacles towards increasing access to childcare. The lack of quality childcare options for young, working parents is considered to be one of the critical issues for Chaffee County.
“Senate Bill 63 requires the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), in consultation with stakeholders, to study the reasons for and provide input into a strategic plan addressing the declining availability of family childcare homes and infant care,” said CCECC Coordinator Janine Pryor, MS.
The meeting’s goal was to identify obstacles in starting and maintaining early childcare centers and homes.
Five areas of focus will guide Chaffee County’s approach to addressing the community’s childcare needs. They are:
- Childcare licensing
- State and local zoning, building, land use, business licensing, property tax, fire and other state and local policies and regulations
- Workforce challenges
- Business development and business training
- Public will and public perception
The group, which included early childhood, care providers, parents, city workers and licensees outlined the obstacles in these categories. These were then prioritized to narrow down specific solutions that the CCECC will focus on in promoting Senate Bill 63.
A final report of the prioritized tasks will be developed by the CCECC and sent to the CDHS by Sept. 16.