Taking on challenges for working families


Colorado’s recovery from the worst recession since the great Depression is as strong as any state’s in the nation, but for many middle-class families, decades of flat paychecks are leaving them with impossible decisions.

Should they leave the workforce to stay home with an aging parent or pay tens of thousands of dollars to place them in around-the-clock care?

Do they purchase a home or pay down a mountain of student debt?

Will they spend hundreds of dollars a week on child care or reject a new job opportunity?

This past August in Aurora, we met with a number of parents to talk about the cost of child care. One mom described the difficult decision between paying for day care or paying her mortgage and another parent was unable to work more hours because of the extra cost of care.

Coloradans feel the burden of these almost insurmountable costs more than families almost anywhere else in the country. Overall, Colorado is the sixth most expensive state for child care, and infant care ranks second when you factor in the percentage of the average salary it consumes.

To provide some relief and help parents stay in the workforce, we’re co-sponsoring a bill to raise the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. We want to make it easier to afford quality care by raising the credit from $3,000 to $8,000 for one child and from $6,000 to $16,000 for two or more kids.

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