Colorado’s child care crisis shows no sign of waning

An inability to find consistent, quality, affordable care also pushes women — who continue to bear the burden of child care responsibilities — out of the workforce.

Daliah Singer
The Colorado Sun
Jaiya Jermulowske plays with her son, Kayson, at Heritage Park Preschool on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022 in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Jermulowske works part-time at the preschool that her son attends.
Joe Mahoney/The Colorado Trust

Timing was everything for Jaiya Jermulowske and her husband, Kory. They knew they couldn’t afford to have two kids in day care at the same time, so the couple — who live about 35 minutes south of Steamboat Springs — planned their second pregnancy around child care.  

When her son, Kayson, was born, Jermulowske left her full-time job at a local nonprofit to mind him and run a babysitting business that had previously been her side hustle. When he turned 2, she was ready to enroll him at the preschool next door to where her daughter, Ayla, attended. It was critical to Jermulowske that both of her children were at the same location, so they had matching drop-off and pick-up times.

Registration for the school year opened at 7 a.m. on a Tuesday. Jermulowske slept at a friend’s house in town to be closer to the preschool, woke up at 5 a.m., and was the first car in line at 5:30 a.m. He got in.  

Child care shortage stories are not unusual in Colorado. Or exceptional.  

“Every woman that I know everywhere is struggling with finding child care,” said Kelley Manley, a freelance journalist who lives in Denver with her husband and two daughters, ages 3 and 5. 


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.