COMING UP: Don't miss Xfinity Monday Live, with special guest DU hockey coach Jim Montgomery. Watch it on CBS4 at 6:30 p.m. or head to ViewHouse Centennial to see it live!

Lawmakers Debate Bill To Increase Child Care Options

By Shaun Boyd

DENVER (CBS4)– State lawmakers are hoping to help parents frustrated by the lack of safe and affordable childcare.

A bill that’s already passed the state Senate would allow unlicensed providers, like stay-at-home moms, to care for more children.

xgr home daycares 5pkg frame 1876 Lawmakers Debate Bill To Increase Child Care Options

(credit: CBS)

Right now, an in-home provider can’t watch more than two unrelated children without a license. That makes things like nanny-sharing illegal.

“It’s a constant source of conversation between me and my girlfriends – ‘Who are you using for daycare? Do they have room for one more?’” says mom Laurel Labonde, who testified in favor of the bill.

xgr home daycares 5pkg frame 341 Lawmakers Debate Bill To Increase Child Care Options

Freddy (credit: CBS)

When she went back to work after her son Freddy was born, her mother-in-law agreed to watch him three days a week, but finding someone to take him the other two days has been a herculean task.

“Licensed home childcare providers are running a business so they want kids five days a week,” she says. When she tried to nanny-share with a friend, “They said I can’t watch them because they’re unrelated and that’s illegal.”

state capitol Lawmakers Debate Bill To Increase Child Care Options

(credit: CBS)

Rep. Jessie Danielson, a Democrat from Wheat Ridge, hopes to change that.

“A number of these folks – we estimate it could be thousands across the state – are actually operating illegally,” said Danielson.

But, she says many families have no choice but to use providers who are operating outside of the law.

xgr home daycares 5pkg frame 1373 Lawmakers Debate Bill To Increase Child Care Options

CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd interviews Rep. Jessie Danielson (credit: CBS)

According to the Colorado Children’s Campaign, 246,000 kids under the age of six need care, but there are only enough licensed slots for about 150,000 of them. That leaves about 96,000 kids without licensed childcare.

xgr home daycares 5pkg frame 85 Lawmakers Debate Bill To Increase Child Care Options

Laurel Labonde with her son (credit: CBS)

Danielson is carrying a bill that allows a provider to care for up to four unrelated kids without a license, and take advantage of training offered by the state.

“On home safety, sleep safety, school readiness like learning their ABC’s and their colors so they’re a little bit more prepared when they do go to school.”

xgr home daycares 5pkg frame 1906 Lawmakers Debate Bill To Increase Child Care Options

(credit: CBS)

Laurel Labonde says it would help moms, kids and providers, “This sort of thing is already happening and the more resources we can give to those people, the better.”

The bill requires the legislature to re-visit the law in three years to see if providers are getting training as a result of being allowed to take on more kids. It has wide bi-partisan support.

Shaun Boyd is CBS4’s political specialist. She’s a veteran reporter with more than 25 years of experience. Follow her on Twitter @cbs4shaun.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Denver

CENTURYLINK 'LINK TO THE ACMAS'
CHECK YOUR BRACKET
Webcams

Listen Live

AM/FM Stations

Featured Shows & Multimedia