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Legislative Year: 2021 Change
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Bill Detail: HB21-1304

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Title Early Childhood System
Status Sent to the Governor (06/17/2021)
Bill Subjects
  • Children & Domestic Matters
House Sponsors A. Garnett (D)
E. Sirota (D)
Senate Sponsors J. Buckner (D)
S. Fenberg (D)
House Committee Education
Senate Committee Education
Date Introduced 05/05/2021
Summary

Effective July 1, 2022, the bill creates the department of early
childhood (new department) to:
  • Provide early childhood opportunities;
  • Coordinate the availability of early childhood programs and
services throughout Colorado;

  • Establish state and community partnerships for a mixed
delivery of child care and early childhood programs
through school- and community-based providers;
  • Prioritize the interests and input of children, parents,
providers, and the community in designing and delivering
early childhood services and programs;
  • Prioritize the equitable delivery of resources and supports
for early childhood; and
  • Unify the administration of early childhood programs and
services.
The bill moves the early childhood leadership commission
(commission) to the new department, effective July 1, 2022.
The bill creates a transition working group (working group)
consisting of the co-chairs of the commission and representatives of
certain state agencies and the governor's office, and directs the co-chairs
of the commission to convene a transition advisory group (advisory
group). The bill directs the working group, working with a consultant and
with the advice of the advisory group, to develop a transition plan (plan)
for the coordination and administration of early childhood services and
programs by the new department and the departments of education,
human services, and public health and environment, including, to the
extent necessary, the transition of existing programs and services to the
new department. The bill includes specific requirements for the plan. The
governor's office must submit the plan to the joint budget committee as
part of the governor's 2022 budget request, and the working group must
submit the plan to the commission for approval. As soon as practicable
after the plan is approved, the governor's office must submit the approved
plan to the joint budget committee with any necessary budget request
amendments. The working group must submit the approved plan to other
committees of the general assembly by November 15, 2021, and must
meet with the early childhood and school readiness legislative
commission by December 1, 2021, to present the plan.
The bill also directs the working group, working with the
consultant and with the advice of the advisory group, to develop
recommendations for a new voluntary, universal preschool program
(recommendations) to be funded partially by the recently increased sales
tax on tobacco and operated by the new department beginning in the
2023-24 school year. The bill specifies requirements that the new
preschool program must meet. The working group must submit the
recommendations to the commission for approval and must then submit
the recommendations to the joint budget committee and other committees
of the general assembly by January 15, 2022.
The bill requires the governor's office to contract with one or more
private entities to consult with the working group in developing and
implementing the plan and in developing the recommendations and to
analyze the current use of existing early childhood programs in the state.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (05/12/2021) (most recent)  
Additional Bill Documents Bill Documents
Including:
  • Past bill versions
  • Past fiscal notes
  • Committee activity and documents
  • Bill History
 
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