GOAL

Increase Childcare Capacity to enable caregivers to join / rejoin the workforce and give children the quality early learning experience they need to thrive

SUMMARY

Affordable childcare offerings within reasonable proximity to home and work are essential for our community to thrive. To achieve this end, we need accommodative public policy and direct action. The Chamber will convene key regional partners and stakeholders, and catalyze a program that solves this problem.

CHALLENGES

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Economic loss

Jefferson County alone is incurring an estimated annual economic cost of nearly $200 million due to lack of sufficient childcare for the workforce; the direct negative impact for Jeffco employers is $60 million (loss of productivity, etc.)

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Inadequate supply

The supply of childcare spots has not kept up with the demand

We have:

  • 67% of the spots we need in Jefferson County
  • 62% of the spots we need in Colorado
  • Colorado is short nearly 250,000 spots
  • More than half (51%) of Coloradans live in a childcare desert – only 1 slot for every 3 needed
  • 7000+ licensed infant childcare slots lost since 2011 (in Colorado) – nearly 30% of the supply
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Cost prohibitive for primary caregivers

Childcare is cost-prohibitive for many

  • Colorado has the 8th highest cost of childcare in the U.S.
  • 55% of families report spending at least $10,000 per year on childcare
  • Since 1990, average childcare costs have risen 214% – outpacing the 143% increase in average family income
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Struggling Childcare Businesses

Childcare businesses struggle with staffing and very low-profit margins

  • 80% of childcare centers are experiencing staffing shortages; nearly half (47%) of programs experiencing staffing shortages are serving fewer children now
  • Women owners of childcare businesses lack access to low-cost capital and financing to support long-term sustainability
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Struggling Childcare Professionals

  • More than 30% of childcare professionals are considering leaving the field due to low pay and other challenges; the percentage is higher for minority-owned programs
  • In 2020, the median pay for childcare workers was $12.24 per hour, 40% less than an average worker
  • 33% of childcare workers receive public assistance because the pay is so low
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Barrier to Availability of Women Caregivers

The cost of childcare is often the main reason women leave the workplace – especially for those with multiple young children; in two-parent, two-income households where one parent has considered leaving or has left the workforce to become a primary caregiver, half (50%) say the cost of external childcare played a significant role in the decision

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Lack of Regional Coordination

As with Talent and Workforce Housing, Arvada and Jefferson / Adams Counties have long lacked a coordinated effort to grow and sustain our childcare capacity

KEY STRATEGIES

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Catalyze a coordinated regional approach to increasing our childcare capacity

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Build community support and ensure accommodative public policy

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Secure funding to support individual program strategies

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Take direct action

PERFORMANCE MEASURES

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Increased number of childcare slots available to meet the needs of residents and businesses – and at an accessible price

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Decrease in number of unfilled childcare staff positions

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Increase in the % of Jefferson County children who are “kindergarten ready” when they are of age to enter kindergarten (current is a dismal 47%)

B.O.L.D 2026

Goal 1

 

Grow our
Talent

 

Learn More

Goal 2

 

Increase Stock of Workforce Housing

 

Learn More

Goal 3

 

Increase Childcare Capacity

 

Learn More

Goal 4

 

Strengthen Business Environment

 

Learn More

The Chamber Board and Campaign Leadership Council are convinced B.O.L.D. 2026 is the right approach at the right time for our community and region. Join us!

For more information about performance measures, budget and staffing today, contact Arvada Chamber President, Kami Welch, at kami@arvadachamber.org