Raising voices for

Colorado’s kids and families

Our policy priorities are shaped by community need and political will. While there are a range of policies and programs that help Colorado’s kids get a strong start in life, each year we focus on issues prioritized by the voices of our diverse coalition members.

CURRENT POLICY ISSUES

AFFORDABLE, QUALITY
CHILD CARE

INFANT AND
EARLY CHILDHOOD
MENTAL HEALTH

HEALTHY NUTRITION
AND OBESITY
PREVENTION

HOME VISITING
PROGRAMS

ACCESS SCREENINGS,
TREATMENT,
AND SUPPORT

What?

Increase the quality of, and access to, affordable childcare arrangements for infants and toddlers.

Why it
matters

Many Colorado families lack access to high-quality, affordable infant and toddler child care. Accessing care is often extremely difficult and child care centers and family child care homes can be prohibitively expensive for parents. In fact, most of our state’s infants and toddlers are currently cared for by Family, Friend, and Neighbor caregivers.

how we
help

Raise Colorado will work to increase the number of slots for infants and toddlers in high-quality settings and provide support resources to Family, Friend and Neighbor caregivers.

What?

Improve access to early childhood mental health.

Why it
matters

According to the Child Health Survey, 26.5% of Colorado parents have concerns about their child’s emotion or behavior, yet only a fraction access mental health care of any kind. Additionally, the nation’s opioid crisis significantly impacted Colorado children, with 39% of foster care placements attributed to substance abuse.

Early experiences build the foundation for children’s later social and emotional wellbeing. A wide range of infant and early childhood mental health promotion, prevention and treatment can help provide the support children need during a critical period of social-emotional development.

how we
help

Raise Colorado will advocate for policy changes and funding to create the infrastructure necessary to help families better navigate the system of screening, referral, evaluation, and care delivery

What?

Increase access to healthy nutrition and obesity prevention initiatives for infants and toddlers.

Why it
matters

Colorado is well below the national average for enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women Infants, and Children (WIC), federal food assistance programs that improve access to good nutrition. Maternal and child nutrition, as well as healthy behaviors and exercise, can promote healthy infant-toddler development and prevent the growing problem of childhood obesity.

how we
help

Raise Colorado will help ensure access to WIC and SNAP programs to boost enrollment and support perinatal health care.

What?

Increase access to voluntary, evidence‐based home visiting programs for expecting mothers and families with infants and toddlers.

Why it
matters

Colorado lacks a state funding stream to support evidence-based home visiting services or other promising practices. We build on the work of the Colorado Home Visiting Coalition to inform strategies and strengthen partnerships for our work.

how we
help

Raise Colorado will help create a system of home visiting for the state, so families can access services through the programs that best meet their needs.

What?

Improve access to child and family screenings, evaluations and referrals to treatment and support services.

Why it
matters

Colorado’s geography makes accessing prenatal and well-child care difficult for many pregnant people and young children. Much of the state is rural or mountainous. Many areas do not have the number of providers needed to serve their populations. Having safe and reliable transportation is extremely important, yet public transportation is lacking in many parts of our state.

how we
help

We will find ways to help provide subsidized rides to medical appointments for pregnant people and families with young children.

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