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Legislators weigh more childcare grants as a form of workforce development

Apr 11, 2024


23 0808 2242 Hover Street SD Set Page 03

If the connection between childcare and workforce availability was not already evident, it became abundantly clear early in the pandemic when women left the workforce at twice the rate of men as schools closed and there was nowhere to send their kids.

 But even as Colorado lawmakers have made efforts in the past several years to boost the availability of childcare facilities — including a trio of bills in 2022 that put $115 million toward seeding early-child-education facilities and training workers — problems linger. According to a 2023 report from business-executive organization ReadyNation, the shortage of childcare in the state costs the economy some $2.2 billion annually as parents who are primarily mothers remain out of the workforce and employers stall expansions.

Brad Weinig of multifamily housing developer Pennrose needs to look no further than an affordable housing project that his company is building to show how the bill could break down existing barriers to building childcare facilities into residential complexes.

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