Home daycare deregulation bill put on hold

<p>(Photo: CPR/Hart Van Denburg)</p>
<p>The Gold Dome atop the Colorado Capitol.</p>

A state Senate committee delayed voting on a bill to deregulate home childcare centers on Thursday. Members of the panel say they want more time to look for ways to make child more affordable and available to Colorado parents.

A report last year found there are only enough licensed day care spots for a quarter of Colorado’s children, and many families can’t afford care.

The bill would have allowed most home daycares to operate without state oversight. After several hours of opposing testimony, the sponsor, Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg asked the panel to delay the vote.

"I will stand next to you to find better solutions. I'm just not sure that this is the right one," Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton, told Lundberg as the committee prepared to delay the bill.

"I would submit to the committee and to all of those in the room who opposed the bill: if you oppose this, then you’d better come up with a solution that works because we don’t have it here in Colorado.

Lundberg suggested possibly amending his bill to make licensing optional for smaller home child cares. The committee plans to vote next week.