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Three Policy Reforms to Help Low-Income Children in Colorado

Authors: Curtis Skinner, Seth Hartig, and Suma Setty
Publication Date: October 2015

Colorado advocates and policymakers have launched important recent initiatives—both legislated and proposed—to help the state’s struggling working families. This policy brief presents the results of three state policy reforms that promise to significantly improve the economic security of low-income Colorado families with children: (1) Implementing two state income tax credits for families with children that have been signed into law, the Child Tax Credit for children under six years old and the Earned Income Tax Credit; (2) Introducing a free and universal prekindergarten program for four-year-olds; and (3) Initiating universal, full-day kindergarten for five-year-olds. The impact of each of these reforms on the economic security of representative low-income families in the state is estimated with the National Center for Children in Poverty’s 2015 Colorado Family Resource Simulator (FRS) policy modeling tool, updated with the assistance of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.