Denver City Council Approves Day Care Ballot Proposal

Like voters in Eagle County, Denver voters will have a chance to vote on an early  childhood education proposal on the ballot this fall, with the Denver City Council voting 10 to 1 last night to send the measure to the ballot.

The Denver initiative would raise sales taxes to collect $12 million a year. The proposal would fund tuition for four-year-olds, based on the parents’ income and quality of the provider, at the preschool of the parents’ choice. Preschools would also get some money.

A family making between $40,000 and $50,000 would pay $25.35 per year for the preschool tax, according to an analysis conducted by the city’s office of economic development, according to the Denver Post. This same type of family would get a credit for $5,265.Earlier Denver initiatives in 2000 and 2001 for much broader programs for early childhood education failed. Denver advocates are hoping that the narrower program and lower cost will help build support where the previous initiatives failed.

The Eagle County initiative relies on property taxes rather than sales taxes, and would raise $2 to $3 million to provide more licensed child care and preschools, boosting salaries for child care workers at these centers, and help deliver medical care for poor children.

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About the Author

Nancy Watzman

is a Denver-based writer.

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