Polis Signs Pivotal Legislation to Enhance Child Care Access and Maternal Health Care Support for Colorado Families (2024)

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Governor Jared Polis signed two laws on June 4, 2024, enhancing child care access and maternal health care in Colorado, focusing on equity and support.

This legislation will connect Colorado parents to affordable child care so they can more easily advance in their career and support their family.”

— Representative Jenny Willford

FORT COLLINS, COLORADO, UNITED STATES, July 9, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ -- On June 4th, 2024, Governor Jared Polis signed into law two transformative pieces of legislation aimed at improving support for Colorado families by expanding access to child care and addressing the maternal health crisis. The new laws, HB24-1223 and HB24-1262, mark significant steps towards ensuring affordable, quality care for children and better health outcomes for pregnant individuals, especially in marginalized communities.

Combating Maternal Mortality

The Colorado Maternal Mortality Review Committee's recommendations are vital for tackling the state's maternal health crisis. These include improving access to diverse healthcare options like midwifery, addressing workforce shortages, and studying the impact of facility shortages on marginalized communities. With many Colorado counties lacking essential perinatal healthcare facilities and Black and Indigenous Coloradans facing significantly higher mortality rates during pregnancy or postpartum, these actions are crucial for ensuring equitable and life-saving care for all citizens.

Highlights of the Legislation

HB24-1223 simplifies the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) application, creating a universal form with essential eligibility criteria. This reduces administrative burdens and improves access to affordable child care, helping parents return to work and advance their careers.

HB24-1262 aids maternal health care by improving data collection on perinatal mistreatment and mandating a 90-day notice before reducing services. It expands access to midwifery and trauma-informed care, protects pregnancy as a discrimination-protected class, and aims to better health outcomes for pregnant individuals in marginalized communities.

Statements from Key Officials

“Child care is critical to getting parents back into the workforce so they can earn income that helps them keep a roof over their head,” said Representative Jenny Willford. “This legislation will connect Colorado parents to affordable child care so they can more easily advance in their career and support their family.”

“HB-1223 will remove time-consuming, unnecessary information from the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program application, making it easier for families to sign up and access the child care they need,” added Senator Lisa Cutter.

“Lack of access to child care can be a barrier that prevents parents from returning to work, which is why we’re passing this legislation to simplify the process to receive child care assistance,” noted Representative Lorena Garcia.

“As a new mom, I know how important it is to have quality health care providers by your side that will advocate for the best health outcomes for you and your baby,” said Representative Iman Jodeh. “Families should have the freedom to choose a health care provider that best fits their needs, especially for the Black and Indigenous Coloradans that are two to three times as likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth.”

Impacts of the New Laws:

- Increased Child Care Access: More families will have easier access to affordable child care, facilitating parents' return to the workforce and reducing economic stress.

- Improved Maternal Health Care: Enhanced data collection, advance notice requirements, and increased access to midwifery will lead to better health outcomes for pregnant individuals, particularly in marginalized communities.

- Focus on Marginalized Communities: These laws address disparities in maternal health care, aiming to reduce the higher mortality rates among Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color.

Governor Jared Polis emphasized the importance of these measures, stating, “These laws will save and improve lives – especially in historically marginalized communities who are disproportionately impacted by the maternal health crisis and child care deserts.”

Trey Crowell
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Polis Signs Pivotal Legislation to Enhance Child Care Access and Maternal Health Care Support for Colorado Families (2024)
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