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Colorado launches emergency child care for those on the front lines of coronavirus — and it’s free for now

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A new effort to provide care for the children of thousands of hospital staff and emergency responders in Colorado kicked off Monday with around 900 children linked up with nearby child care providers.

The initiative covers a small slice of the tens of thousands of young children estimated to need care so their parents can work at essential jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, but leaders and participating child care providers say it represents an impressively fast response that will grow in the coming days.

State officials and more than a dozen early childhood groups spearheaded the emergency child care campaign last week after a wave of school and child care center closures set off fears that health professionals and first responders wouldn’t be able to do their jobs without a safe place to send their children.

Child care at the more than five dozen participating centers and licensed homes — most in the Denver metro area — is free for essential workers this week and next week because of funding from the state and several private companies and foundations. In future weeks, parents may be charged on a sliding-scale basis, but the details are in flux. -Ann Schimke, Chalkbeat; photo Erin Einhorn
 
 
 
 

Finding Child Care in Colorado

So, what child care options are available when I go back to work?

We all want our kids to shine and moms with young kids have been given the ultimate resource: Colorado Shines, a program from the State of Colorado which rates and monitors the quality of child care programs. This includes ensuring environments are safe for children and that programs adhere to all current health and safety regulations. The great thing about the Colorado Shines is all of the information you need is in one place, allowing you to dig into the details of a child care program’s quality and history to ensure you choose the best program for your child. The search tool for parents and primary caregivers of children age 0-5 is also geared to Spanish-dominant and bilingual families. It’s all about making informed choices!

 

 

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