Hamner’s Bill to Align Childhood Development Programs Takes First Steps

(Jan. 29) – A bill to align childhood development programs to increase efficiency of the program passed the Public Health & Human Services Committee today on a bipartisan vote of 9 to 4.

HB13-1117, sponsored by Rep. Millie Hamner (D-Dillon), will bring the various early childhood development programs run by several state departments together under one department: the Colorado Department of Human Services. The bill aligns the programs for the purpose of further consolidation and better administration of early childhood programs. The current system is administered by a number of departments that often have numerous funding streams.

“By aligning the early childhood development programs, we will advance and improve early childhood support programs and services particularly for Colorado’s at-risk populations,” Rep. Hamner said.

Rep. Hamner said this legislation is the product of much hard work by many stakeholders for over a decade.

“This bill is the culmination of the work of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission, who has looked at streamlined models across the country and what is the best way to deliver these programs for Colorado,” Rep. Hamner told the committee.

Witnesses testifying in favor of the bill included representatives from the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, the Early Childhood Leadership Commission, the Executives Partnering to Invest in Children, the March of Dimes and the Colorado Children’s Campaign. No one testified in opposition to the bill.

Similar legislation died in the Republican-controlled House last year, despite bipartisan sponsorship.

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