Colorado Bill Aims To Help Single Moms Get Child Care

A bill aimed at encouraging teen mothers to stay in school gets its first hearing in the state legislature Friday.

The legislation would make it easier for young parents to get help paying for child care.

In most of Colorado’s counties, single mothers have to identify the fathers of their children to qualify for subsidized child care. Counties then pursue fathers for child support payments to off-set some of the costs of social services.

Human Services departments argue that establishing a child support relationship early on can help keep a father in his child’s life.

However, advocates for teen mothers say that requirement damages the often-fragile relationships between teen parents and keeps many young women from seeking the help they need to pay for child care.

This bipartisan bill suspends the child support requirement for teen mothers, as well as for victims of domestic violence. It has its first House hearing Friday morning and is sponsored by influential members of both parties.