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Executive Director Update: Spring 2020

Hello friends of ECCLA,

As I look back over the last few months it is amazing how much our world has changed since I last wrote to you in late February. The last several months have been challenging for us all in many ways. Since the beginning of the global pandemic, and throughout the challenges it has presented, I have been in awe of the work of Colorado’s Early Childhood Councils. This system has collectively risen to the occasion to meet the needs of Colorado’s families and child care providers. Councils have been working tirelessly with local and state partners to address the needs presented in their communities. As the membership organization for all of Colorado’s Early Childhood Councils, ECCLA has been honored to support the critical work of Councils during this historic time and stand along-side them in response and recovery efforts for Colorado’s early childhood sector.

In response to the pandemic, Colorado’s Early Childhood Councils have been working with the Colorado Department of Human Services: Office of Early Childhood to support child care providers and families in their local communities. This work has included assisting with the purchase, distribution, and resources for essential supplies such as cleaning supplies, toilet paper, diapers, formula, wipes, and masks. This work has been supported by funding from FEMA, the OEC, local governments, and philanthropy. Additionally, all Councils are supporting local families with essential workers in the process of finding available child care. Councils are also supporting their local child care providers with the many challenges they are facing as they choose to close, remain open, or re-open. Councils who operate as local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) partners with the state have also been serving in a formal role with matching families for the Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative. There are currently 16 Councils that serve as a local partner with the state for CCR&R. This is just a small piece of the work currently being done by our Council system. Read more about these efforts here.

ECCLA recently made changes to our organizational structure, including a promotion for Heather Hanna to Deputy Director. I am thrilled to have Heather serving in this role. Also shared is our 2019 annual report for the Colorado T.E.A.C.H.® Early Childhood Scholarship program and the first ever ECCLA organizational annual report. Read more about these changes here.

On a personal note, I have very much enjoyed getting to know many of you through our partnerships over the last several months. I appreciate your support of Councils and ECCLA during this difficult time. In this work, relationships are essential, and it has certainly been a challenge to begin this new role just shortly before this unprecedented global pandemic that significantly changed how we work and interact. I also want to say a quick public thank you to ECCLA staff for their dedication over the last several months. I am so appreciative for the tremendous work they have done for the organization while navigating the personal challenges that this pandemic has brought to all of us.

In good health and partnership,

Amy Payton

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