Date: January 2019
Category: Strategy

2019 Policy Agenda: Supporting Young Children & Their Families


by:
Bruce Hoyt

It’s been an exciting week in Colorado politics with the kickoff of the 2019 legislative session and inauguration of a new governor. As proposed policies are brought forth by our new and returning lawmakers, Gary Community Investments looks forward to informing opportunities that have the power to create transformative, systemic change for Colorado’s low-income children and their families.

As a long-time advocate for the expansion of programs and policies that support children’s healthy development, we are especially encouraged by the commitment to young children announced by both Governor Polis and members of the state legislature. We support the expansion of universal pre-K and full-day kindergarten to all Colorado children, and we encourage lawmakers to explore issues like child care affordability and healthy child development, which will generate short- and long-term benefits to our state.

While we focus the majority of our resources on children prenatal to age five, we also understand that supporting the families, communities and systems that surround children is critical to their success. That’s why our overarching policy and advocacy priorities expand beyond early childhood education, tying directly to our theory of change.

Taking into account the current political climate and most pressing community needs, GCI expects to focus our 2019 policy and advocacy efforts on the following priorities:

  • Increasing access to and improving the quality of early care and education

  • Improving the health and well-being of young children and strengthening family supports

  • Improving economic mobility for low-income families

  • Increasing access to stable, quality affordable housing and building supportive surrounding communities

Recognizing that the policy landscape can shift rapidly, GCI is ready to respond to mission-aligned opportunities outside of those listed above, and we will look to our strong network of cross-sector partners as we decide when and how to best engage.