Colorado has many collaborative and interagency initiatives underway to build a comprehensive and sustainable early childhood system in our state. Guided by the Early Childhood Colorado Framework the common goal of these systems-building initiatives is to ensure that all of Colorado's young children are valued, healthy, and thriving.
At any given time, Colorado has a variety of special task forces and committees that are working to address specific issues related to the development of a comprehensive system of early childhood services. In addition, local foundations have provided support for a host of innovative initiatives to improve the early childhood system in Colorado.
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The Early Childhood Colorado Partnership is a network of partners from state and local agencies, statewide nonprofits, local early childhood councils, foundations and universities committed to ensuring the vision of the Early Childhood Colorado Framework is effectively implemented in Colorado.
The Partnership provides the space and conditions for diverse partners across the comprehensive early childhood system – encompassing health, mental health, family support and early learning – to come together, identify common results, share best practices, implement strategies and track progress towards indicators of child and family wellbeing and systems performance improvement. To do this, the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership uses a results-based approach to develop, guide and inform its collective work.
Oct 22, 2012: Meeting Notes | View the meeting recording and materials
On October 22, 2012, the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership participated in an interactive training and planning session on Results Based Accountability. By the end of the meeting, the Partnership had identified population-based results desired for Colorado’s young children and recommended headline indictors per result area.
Dec 12, 2012: Meeting Notes | View the meeting recording and materials
On December 10, 2012, the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership discussed the following Meeting Objectives:
- Discuss progress and close-out the Framework in Action State Plan: 2010-2012
- Finalize RESULTS and headline INDICATORS for 2013+ work
- Describe the first quarter 2013 process and objectives for the EC Colorado Partnership
Jan. 29, 2013: Mini-Progress & Possibilities in Early Childhood
Investment Model: One-pager | Investment Model: Presentation | Colorado Kids Presentation
View the meeting recording and materials
The first quarter Mini-Progress & Possibilities in Early Childhood event occurred on January 29, 2013. More than 45 partners participated in a presentation and discussion about the School Finance Partnership, facilitated by Reilly Pharo with the Colorado Children’s Campaign, and the Colorado Early Investment Model, facilitated by Colin Tackett with the Office of the Lt. Governor and Bruce Atchison, Consultant.
Framework in Action State Plan: 2010-2012 -- Winter 2012 Progress and Close-Out Report
The Framework in Action State Plan: 2010-2012 was developed in 2009 by over 100 state partners to identify next-steps for cross-sector early childhood systems efforts at the state-level. The purpose of developing the plan was to capture, integrate and guide various state efforts and initiatives, as well as promote shared leadership, ownership, and action towards systemic improvements and enhancements across the sectors of a comprehensive early childhood system.
Feb. 25, 2013: Meeting Notes | Slides | Headline Indicators | Video
On February 25, 2013, the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership met to further partners understanding on using a Results Based Accountability approach, share Partnership updates, and launch RESULT Work Groups. Result Work Groups discussed the Headline Indicators and related data trends, identified additional information needed as well as partners to engage.
April 16, 2013: Early Childhood Colorado Partnership Grant Proposal: A one-page description of the purpose and goals of grant
The Early Childhood Colorado Partnership, through The Civic Canopy, will submit an application in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Building Health through Integration funding opportunity announcement. The purpose of this grant is: Mitigation of toxic stress and trauma in infancy and early childhood (birth to 3).
April 25, 2013: The Early Childhood Colorado Partnership has submitted a proposal to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration in response to the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Building Health through Integration funding opportunity. The proposed grant plan will bring together partners from across the comprehensive early childhood system to develop a shared understanding and collective approach to address the complexities of preventing and buffering the impact of adverse childhood experiences in infancy and early childhood. Additional grant documents may be found at http://civiccanopy.org/eccp_cc_grant.
May 15, 2013: The Early Childhood Colorado Partnership will host a “Progress & Possibilities in Early Childhood” event on May 15th from 2:00-5:00pm. The event will feature presentations and discussions on: Colorado’s Early Learning Challenge Fund grant plans, the implications of health care exchanges on young children and their families, and state policy updates. Check flyer for more information, including logistics for in-person and on-line participation. Please RSVP for this event to email@example.com.
April 22, 2013: The Early Childhood Colorado Partnership met to engage in a Turn-the-Curve Activity designed to use and understand data to inform strategies and actions. Meeting notes capture the discussion including the formalizing of a Partnership Agreement and review of the Partnership’s Data Agenda.
In December 2012, Colorado was awarded $30 Million under the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Fund Grant to improve access and quality to programs that serve children with high-needs and their families. In March 2013, Colorado submitted a draft scope of work for federal approval to define project objectives and timelines within the grant. The below documents are work plans and accompany budget information, subject to federal approval an amendment during the implementation of the grant.
Section 1: Grant Management Spreadsheet
Section 1: Grant Management Narrative
Section 2: Standards Spreadsheet
Section 2: Standards Narrative
Section 3: TQRIS Spreadsheet
Section 3: TQRIS Narrative
Section 4: Workforce Development Spreadsheet
Section 4: Workforce Development Narrative
Section 5: Results Matter Spreadsheet
Section 5: Results Matter Narrative
Section 6: Kindergarten Readiness Spreadsheet
Section 6: Kindergarten Readiness Narrative
April, 2012 — Gov. John Hickenlooper and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia welcomed the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement that Colorado is among five finalist states invited to apply for $133 million from the 2012 Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge fund. Colorado will be eligible for up to $30 million in a non-competitive application process.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, eligibility for 2012 Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge funding was based on the strength of applications among States that participated but did not receive awards in the 2011 competition. New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Illinois and Wisconsin each earned approximately 75% or more of total points possible on a 300-point scale in the 2011 competition.
“We will apply for these funds because we are committed to providing the very best possible foundation for Colorado’s children,” said Hickenlooper. “Colorado is a leader in early education, with the goal of ensuring that every child is ready to learn.”
“People from every corner of the state expressed support for expanding quality early childhood programs to help ensure that children start kindergarten ready to fully engage in learning,” said Garcia. “This administration has placed a high priority on supporting parents and families to make sure that all children are valued, healthy and thriving. Securing these additional federal funds will bolster Colorado’s work that is already well underway to enhance quality early childhood services.”
In 2011, 35 States, D.C. and Puerto Rico applied to Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, creating plans that increase access to high-quality programs for children from low-income families, and provide more children from birth to age 5 with a strong foundation needed to succeed in school and beyond. In December 2011, nine States were awarded grants-California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington.
The $133 million for additional Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge State grants will come from a larger $550 million fund provided by Congress through the Department of Education’s fiscal year 2012 budget. Additional dollars from the 2012 appropriation will be used to run a new district-level Race to the Top competition. More details on the new competition will be available later this spring.
Colorado’s previous proposal submitted in 2011 included strategies to:
-Evolve the statewide Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (TQRIS) to ensure children receive the highest quality programming in all licensed settings and implement a shared services model in high-needs communities for business stability and quality improvement.
-Integrate early childhood learning and development guidelines within all early learning system elements including workforce competencies, comprehensive assessments systems, TQRIS, and parent training and tools.
-Leverage the state’s comprehensive assessment systems to ensure early identification and effective interventions and supports for children with high needs, leading to kindergarten readiness.
-Create a highly qualified early childhood workforce through a competency based system that supports both formal and informal education opportunities and allows an evaluation of educator effectiveness, linked to Colorado’s K-12 system.
-Expand the kindergarten entry assessment to ensure that Colorado’s children are on the right path to achievement at third grade and beyond.
-Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of delivering early learning services to families at the local level by streamlining state governance with a new early childhood office in the Department of Human Services.
These strategies are key components to the state’s broader vision outlined in Colorado Reads: The Early Literacy Initiative.
“Colorado is drawing closer to the day when every child will be able to read proficiently by third grade,” added Garcia.
The U.S. Department of Education will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register in the near future with the full details of this proposal.
For more information about the previous proposal submitted in 2011, read the Executive Summary of Colorado’s Early Learning Challenge Fund Application. Click for information on the process Colorado followed to complete the application and for information about what was important to stakeholders at the listening tour. Read the Governance feedback from the listening tour about the Early Learning Challenge Fund.
The purpose of ECLC is to improve outcomes for young children ages birth to eight and their families by advancing the alignment, coordination, and efficiency of programs and services. Learn more about the ECLC’s mission, composition and governance.
The Early Childhood Colorado Framework is the ECLC’s guide for developing a comprehensive, coordinated service delivery system for Colorado's youngest children. This high-level leadership commission will accelerate and sustain Colorado's commitment to improving outcomes for young children. The Commission will:
1. Develop an inter-agency data system to help streamline services, drive continuous quality improvement, and promote shared accountability.
2. Recommend a state-level oversight and coordination structure for early childhood that increases efficiencies and supports equity and access for children and families.
3. Improve the quality, access and capacity of early childhood services across all sectors
Early Childhood Leadership Commission Annual Report dated January 21, 2011
Join the conversation on the Early Childhood Leadership Commission’s Groupsite today!
• The creation of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission: The purpose of the Commission is to ensure and advance a comprehensive early childhood system for children from birth to age eight and their families.
• An early childhood state partnership: This is comprised of state-level partners who see themselves contributing towards the vision within the Early Childhood Colorado Framework. We will meet quarterly in 2010 to share progress on the state plan and strengthen existing partnerships while building new ones. For more information, contact Jodi.Hardin@state.co.us.
• Colorado’s state-wide system of local Early Childhood Councils : These councils provide the local infrastructure for convening cross-sector community partners to identify, plan, and address systems change needed to improve outcomes for young children and families within local communities.
• The Early Childhood Councils Advisory Team (ECCAT) : This team was established through legislation, provides a formal collaborative structure to support the advancement of a sustainable, high-quality statewide system of local councils.
• The Early Childhood Councils Leadership Alliance (ECCLA): This alliance is a learning organization comprised of local council coordinators, provides a mechanism for cross-fertilization of local community systems-building successes as well as the identification of statewide barriers to comprehensive early childhood systems building.
The Early Childhood and Youth Development Governance Proposal will be presented in the 2012 legislative session. The governance proposal outlines the consolidation of several programs into a new Office of Early Childhood and Youth Development in the Colorado Department of Human Services and promotes stronger inter-agency coordination of programs and funding streams. For frequently asked questions related to the proposal please see the Early Childhood and Youth Development FAQ. To submit feedback, please see the Governance Stakeholder Feedback Form.
- Colorado Early Investment Model: Return on Investment in Early Care & Learning
- Colorado Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Fund Application
- Awareness and Usage Survey Colorado Early Childhood Framework 2011 Report
- Early Childhood Colorado Framework: Awareness and Usage Survey 2011
- Colorado Early Childhood Needs Assessment
- Framework in Action State Plan
- Colorado's Early Learning Professional Development System Plan
- Colorado Early Childhood Councils Annual Report 2011
- Estimating the Costs of a Comprehensive Early Childhood System
- Colorado’s Early Childhood Councils: Creating an Effective and Equitable Early Childhood System