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SIGNED! Bill to Implement Universal Pre-K in Colorado Becomes Law

New law would promote alignment and quality, and improve access to high-quality early childhood education  

DENVER, CO – Today, the governor signed a bill into law that will implement universal preschool, improve education outcomes, and support families in expanding access to enriching early childhood experiences. 

HB21-1304, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg and Senator Janet Buckner, will expand access to high-quality, affordable early childhood opportunities, support parents in accessing programs and services, and coordinate the availability of those services.

"Today was a huge step forward in providing quality education to every child in Colorado,” said Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder)“With this law, we’re laying the foundation for how we fund, coordinate, and address early childhood education. Access to child care not only supports critical early development and future educational outcomes, but also the very well-being and success of families across our state.”

Voter-approved investments in early learning, including Proposition EE – which was overwhelmingly supported by Colorado voters – as well as new federal funding targeted to child care, provide the state with a unique opportunity to elevate and streamline our early childcare education system.

“This law is the culmination of decades of hard work and advocacy from so many in our communities,” said Senator Janet Buckner (D-Aurora)“We remain inspired by Anna Jo Haynes’ leadership on this issue and are so happy to be able to honor her life’s work in the bill’s title. The implementation of HB21-1304 will build on the progress she has made, and will have life-changing effects on Colorado’s youth for generations to come.”

The bill’s shorthand title honors a long-time advocate of early childhood education in Colorado, Anna Jo Garcia Haynes. Ms. Haynes was the driving force behind the creation of the Head Start early childhood education program in Denver, and co-founder of the Colorado Children’s Campaign, a non-partisan advocacy organization.