Governor Jared Polis signed and extended several executive orders Saturday, allocating federal funds for child care, extending the use of telehealth services and temporarily suspending some regulatory statutes due to the pandemic.
One of the orders, D 2020 120, directs the Colorado Department of Human Services to tap federal funds for child care to “ensure stability and consistency for child care providers,” to include:
• supporting affordable fees for subsidized child care as families recover the COVID-related recession;
• funding more early childhood mental health consultants;
• providing sustainability grants to help licensed child care providers with the costs of staying open or reopening (including accommodating lower group sizes, buying
more safety and cleaning supplies, and staff retention); and
• maximizing the use of public and private spaces licensed for child care.
The order also directs local public health agencies to work with child care providers and
preschools to determine whether it is safe to continue operations.
The federal funds come from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020, which allocated $3.5 billion to the states through the Child Care and Development Funds block grant.
Polis extended D 2020 020 — originally signed April 1 — which suspends some statutes for health care providers and veterinarians, allowing them to continue offering telehealth services in an effort to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.
Polis also signed three orders temporarily extending previous suspensions of state regulations. Order D 2020 118 extends the state’s suspension of certain regulatory statutes; D 2020 117 suspends certain statutes preventing county clerk and recorder offices from issuing marriage licenses when their offices are closed to the public due to COVID-19; and D 2020 119 temporarily suspends statutory provisions that allow collection of petitions for unaffiliated candidates by suspending an additional statutory provision to “ensure designated election officials have adequate time to review and provide notification of sufficiency or insufficiency to unaffiliated candidates.”
Barring further extensions, all of the orders signed Saturday are set to expire July 27.