Join Our Newsletter


ECCLA Newsletter: Winter 2023

ECCLA Winter 2023 Newsletter Director’s Message As we settle into the long months of winter I have been reminded more than once that winter is a time for rest and renewal. Winter brings a natural slowing down to all living things. In my neck of 

ECCLA Releases Brief Highlighting the Impact of Early Childhood Council Workforce Support Strategies Across Colorado

Wheat Ridge, CO (Oct. 24, 2022) – In recognition of the critical work that Colorado’s Early Childhood Councils do to address the need for a qualified and supported early childhood workforce, the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) has released the Early Childhood Council Impact 

Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) Launches the Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Program for Early Childhood Professionals in Rural Communities

Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) is excited to announce the launch of the Rural Reskilling, Upskilling, Next-skilling (R.U.N.) Scholarship Program. The Rural R.U.N Scholarship Program provides career counseling and tuition support to current and incoming early childhood professionals in rural communities seeking to reskill, 

Summer 2022 Newsletter

Director’s Message Up in the mountains, summer is always a little slow to arrive. It was only a few weeks ago that everything was covered in snow and our aspens were just beginning to bud out. Once it finally does arrive it makes it very 

ECCLA Spring 2022 News

Director’s MessageWe all have often heard it said that change is the only true constant in life. Nowhere is this truer than in early childhood. We all work to support a time in human development that sees the most change and growth out of any 

ECCLA Releases 2021 Annual Reports

We are excited to share the ECCLA 2021 Annual Report and the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® COLORADO Scholarship Program: 2021 Annual Report! Please join us in celebrating another year of strengthening Colorado’s early childhood system. We invite you to explore the data and testimonials that highlight the impact that ECCLA 

ECCLA Winter 2021 News

Director’s Message December is the darkest month of the year in Colorado. It is a time that can bring feelings of hope and joy and also a time that can be especially stressful. December is a great metaphor for what all of us in the 

Position Statement on Proposed Recommendations for the Colorado Department of Early Childhood

It is ECCLA’s vision that Colorado has a comprehensive early childhood system that promotes thriving young children, families, and communities and we are excited by the formation of the new Department of Early Childhood. We look forward to working in partnership with our 34-member Early 

ECCLA Funded for Back to Work Program through Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative

ECCLA is a proud recipient of the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI), supporting the Back to Work Early Childhood Education Scholarship Program! Our efforts will focus on recruiting displaced workers into the early care and education field in Colorado.  Early childhood professionals are the workforce 

ECCLA Has a New Strategic Plan

ECCLA is delighted to share our new strategic plan. Adopted in May 2021, this ambitious plan was developed collaboratively with input from members, partners, and policymakers with the goal to create a plan that pushes our maturing organization into deeper advocacy and systems change. The 

ECCLA Awards $160,000 to Family Child Care Homes in 2020

The Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Initiative (FCCHI) administered by the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) offers grants to licensed home-based child care providers in Colorado. This funding opportunity is intended to help family child care homes start-up, expand, or maintain consistent operations, 

ECCLA Embarks on Strategic Planning

The ECCLA Board of Directors and staff have begun a 5-month strategic planning process to update and affirm ECCLA’s mission, vision, and role. The organization’s scope and reach have expanded requiring a deep dive. With key partners, ECCLA will explore the future of the organization. 

“Keep the Lights On” Grant Awards

On behalf of the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance, Executives Partnering to Invest in Children, Healthy Child Care Colorado, Mile High United Way, and The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, we are pleased to announce a total of nearly $500,000 was awarded 125 family child care homes 

ECCLA’s New Executive Director

I am excited to introduce Maegan Lokteff, PhD as the next Executive Director of ECCLA!  Many know Maegan from her work the past 6 years as the Executive Director of Grand Beginnings which covers both Grand and Jackson counties. She has worked her way from 

New Report Highlights History and Impact of Early Childhood Councils

Boots on the Ground: Advancing the Shared Vision for Colorado’s Children is a new report that brings the systems building work of Early Childhood Councils to life. The history, work, and impact of Colorado’s Early Childhood Councils are not well understood by most people and 

ECCLA Endorses Proposition EE

HB20-1427: Cigarette Tobacco And Nicotine Products Tax, passed the Colorado General Assembly as a referred measure to the 2020 November Election Ballot. ECCLA has endorsed the Proposition EE campaign which is a historic opportunity to expand early childhood education in Colorado.  Over the first 2 

Announcing ECCLA’s Interim Director

On behalf of the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) Board of Directors, we are excited to announce Heather Hanna will be stepping in as Interim Director, beginning August 6, 2020, following the resignation of Amy Payton, Executive Director.  We are saddened than Amy is 

ECCLA Awards Facilities Improvement Grants to Family Child Care Homes in Colorado

To address the declining number of licensed slots within family child care homes and to improve quality within home-based learning environments, the Buell Foundation granted funds to the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) to provide facility improvement funding to family child care homes. This opportunity is intended to 

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 

Councils Respond to COVID-19 with Supports for Families and Providers

Across Colorado, families and communities have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, family child care arrangements have been disrupted and supplies have been difficult to find on store shelves. In local communities, Colorado’s Early Childhood Councils are playing an important role in supporting 

ECCLA Makes Exciting Changes to Advance our Mission

In 2019, under the prudent direction of our Board of Directors, ECCLA successfully navigated significant programmatic and partnership growth while securing new leadership for the organization. Our mission to improve the quality, capacity, and equity of services and supports for Colorado’s young children and their 

ECCLA’s Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

Supporting Councils and Early Care and Education Providers During the COVID-19 Crisis Hello friends of ECCLA, We are all living through an extremely difficult situation that many of us probably could not have imagined just a month or two ago. Currently, available information indicates that 

Greetings from ECCLA’s New Executive Director

Hello Friends of ECCLA! I am thrilled to be writing you my first newsletter update as Executive Director of the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA). I began serving in this role in early January and what a whirlwind the last (almost) two months have 

2018-19 T.E.A.C.H. National Program Report and Colorado Profile

The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center celebrates 30 years of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Program. T.E.A.C.H was initially created to address the multiple challenges of a minimally educated workforce, making poverty level wages resulting in very high turnover rates. The 2018-19 T.E.A.C.H. National Program Report 

ECCLA Collaborates on an Early Childhood Census Toolkit

The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) has teamed up with the Colorado Children’s Campaign to collaborate on an early childhood Census toolkit which provides local communities with resources for outreach to families. Every 10 years, the Census aims to count every person living in 

ECCLA and Councils Partner with Get Ahead Colorado

Get Ahead Colorado, an initiative of the Piton Foundation at Gary Community Investments, aims to increase the number of eligible families receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit, and other valuable credits that help families get ahead. This year, Get Ahead Colorado 

Meet ECCLA’s New Executive Director

Dear Councils, Funders and Partners, I am excited to introduce Dr. Amy Williamson Payton as the next Executive Director for ECCLA! Dr. Payton comes to us most recently from Oklahoma State University and has worked her way from being a preschool teacher to conducting research 

ECCLA Hosts Annual Leadership Retreat with Councils

ECCLA convened Early Childhood Councils on September 19-20, 2019 for an annual leadership retreat in beautiful Golden, CO. ECCLA’s role is to support Councils as they align resources and services for young children and families in their local communities. We generously received support from The 

Elevate Colorado’s Early Childhood Workforce on Colorado Gives Day!

Colorado’s largest day of giving just around the corner. On this day, thousands of people come together to support Colorado nonprofits. Colorado Gives Day takes place on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 and we invite you to donate to the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® COLORADO Scholarship Program!  As 

ECCLA Receives Grant to Help Family Child Care Homes

The Buell Foundation has awarded ECCLA with a $250,000 grant to administer a Family Child Care Home (FCCH) Facility Improvement Initiative. The purpose of the Buell Foundation’s Family Child Care Home Facility Improvement Initiative is to help Colorado families find quality care options for their 

Join the Annual ECHO Summit to Build Outdoor Learning Environments

Together, the Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO) Initiative and ECCLA are building a supportive technical assistance network across Colorado. ECCLA engages our network of 34 Early Childhood Councils to deepen regional expertise around healthy outdoor learning environments and serves as a primary conduit to the 

ECCLA Executive Director Update

Dear ECCLA Members and Stakeholders: On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA), we would like to share that we are continuing to search for a new ECCLA Executive Director and will be reposting the position within the 

ECCLA and Councils Support Early Childhood Legislation

The 2019 Colorado legislative session began in early-January. ECCLA and several Councils have already signed on to support legislative bills aimed at helping young children, families, and communities thrive. Check back throughout the legislative session to learn more about bills supported by ECCLA and Councils. HB 

2Generation Pilots Partner with Local Early Childhood Councils

2Generation Opportunities, or 2GO, is an effort to help communities innovate and create their own ways of engaging in a two-generation approach to service delivery. In November 2018, the 2GO pilot awarded 10 grants of $100,000 each to regional and community collaborators who have proposed innovative ways to 

Opportunities for Child Care Providers to Enhance Outdoor Learning

Outdoor environments encourage play and learning which supports child development. Understanding the importance of outdoor environments, The National Wildlife Federation and North Carolina State University’s Natural Learning Initiative with local funders partnered to bring the Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO) initiative to Colorado. The ECHO 

Register Today for RMECC 2019

Now entering the eighth year, Denver’s Early Childhood Council and the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) have partnered to present RMECC. This year the conference will be hosted March 1-2, 2019 at a new location – the Sheraton Denver Downtown. New this year, we’re 

Early Childhood Advocacy Training Engages Councils

In December 2018, ECCLA partnered with Child Care Works, Raise Colorado, Colorado Children’s Campaign, and Clayton Early Learning to support an advocacy training for child advocates across Colorado. Funding from the Think Babies campaign enable Early Childhood Council leaders to attend from all corners of 

Letter from Our Executive Director

Hello Friends and Partners of ECCLA! We hope that 2019 is off to a great start for you, and we are excited about what the new year holds for Colorado’s young children and their families. We have been extremely busy these last few months, finalizing 

ECCLA Supports Events to Advance Early Childhood Priorities

ECCLA has been busy this Fall participating with and leading events to advance early childhood priorities: Mile High Data Day: ECCLA attended Mile High Data Day on September 20 with a goal to bring information and resources to Early Childhood Councils. The day focused on 

Exciting Changes Strengthen the Early Childhood Council Network

ECCLA celebrates the accomplishments of Early Childhood Councils across Colorado. We are particularly excited about two new changes this Fall that will strengthen the Early Childhood Council Network: Morgan County Welcomes a New Early Childhood Council We are excited to welcome Morgan County Partnership for 

ECCLA Joins Colorado Gives Day

We invite you to support the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) on Colorado Gives Day! Colorado’s largest day of giving, Colorado Gives Day, takes place on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. On this day, thousands of people come together to support Colorado nonprofits. Since its 

ECCLA Convenes Councils for Two-Day Leadership Training

ECCLA convened Early Childhood Councils on September 6-7, 2018 for two days of leadership training at the historic Penrose House in Colorado Springs. ECCLA’s role is to support Councils as they align resources and services for young children and families in their local communities. We 

Learn More About Councils and ECCLA with our New Resources

ECCLA is excited to share new resources to create greater awareness and appreciation for the work of Colorado’s Early Childhood Councils and the role of ECCLA to provide support. Our new fact sheet provides a high-level overview of the role Councils play in their local 

2019 Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference Announced

Now entering the eighth year, Denver’s Early Childhood Council and the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) have partnered to present the 2019 Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference (RMECC). This year the conference will be hosted March 1-2, 2019 at a new location – the 

Councils Support Families with Child Care Resources

The long days of summer are nearing an end and many young children are starting school or returning to child care for high quality early learning experiences. Finding quality child care and navigating assistance can be challenging for local families. Fortunately, Colorado established the Child 

Report Highlights the Progress of Early Childhood in Colorado  

A new report from Early Milestones Colorado, Looking to the Past to Shape Colorado’s Future: 30 Years of Progress for Young Children and Families, takes an expansive and in-depth look at the progress made in Colorado’s early childhood systems – as well as priorities for the 

Weld County Resource Provides Caregiver Support for Child Development

What if parents and caregivers could have a one-stop, online resource that connects to a variety of child development resources? This was the vision of Promises for Children, Weld County’s Early Childhood Council. Earlier this year, partners came together to launch their “RoadMap4Kids,” an interactive 

El Paso County Focuses on Social and Emotional Development

During the earliest years, social and emotional development begins in young children, which is the ability to express and understand emotions, develop social skills, and engage in problem solving strategies to maintain healthy relationships. All young children need caring, responsive, knowledgeable parents and caregivers to 

State Legislators Invest in Local Early Childhood Councils

During the 2018 legislative session, the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) successfully advocated for state general funds to be invested in the statewide network of Early Childhood Councils. The 2018-19 Colorado state budget now includes $1 million for Councils to continue their efforts in 

Councils Lead Early Childhood Workforce Innovation Grants

The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) and Early Childhood Councils are supporting the statewide conversation to develop innovative workforce strategies that enhance recruitment, retention, and compensation. The Early Childhood Workforce 2020 plan provides an ambitious road map to promote a high quality, effective, and 

Custer County Prioritizes Early Childhood and Family Supports

Custer County is a remote community that sits in a beautiful valley between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Wet Mountains with a total population of a little more than 4,000. Local families often have limited access to services with one local health clinic 

Spotlight on the Impact of Childhood Trauma

A recent report on 60 minutes discussed the impact of childhood trauma and ways in which communities are working to combat toxic stress. The research shows that early interactions and positive experiences with caregivers help to shape a young child’s brain, which provides a strong 

Councils Celebrate Young Children and Their Families

In April early childhood organizations, professionals, and advocates celebrate young children and their families by recognizing the importance of positive early childhood experiences, promoting early learning and healthy development of young children, and highlighting the role everyone plays in preventing child abuse and neglect. This 

Councils and ECCLA “Speak up for Kids” at the State Capitol

Councils and ECCLA joined state partners at the annual “Speak up for Kids” event on March 14, 2018. This dynamic event brought together advocates to serve as a voice for children statewide. Advocates met with state legislators to share information about current legislation affecting children. 

2018 Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference a Success

ECCLA and Denver’s Early Childhood Council presented the 2018 Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference on March 16-17 at the Colorado Convention Center. This year’s conference featured keynote speakers, Dr. Becky Bailey founder of Loving Guidance, Inc. and the Conscious Discipline program and Enrique “Hank” C. 

ECCLA is Featured on The Preschool Podcast

The Preschool Podcast provides inspiration and knowledge to current and future early childhood professionals by speaking with experienced and insightful leaders. The weekly program features voices and perspectives from educators, leaders, and organizations in early childhood. ECCLA is excited to be featured on The Preschool 

ECCLA and Councils Support Early Childhood Workforce Goals

In collaboration with Early Milestones Colorado, Early Childhood Councils and ECCLA supported eight community meetings across the state to discuss the early childhood workforce in Colorado. Councils worked with their local early childhood partners to ensure multiple perspectives and voices were represented, secured local facilities 

Conference Partnership Advances Early Childhood in Colorado

Now entering the seventh year, Denver’s Early Childhood Council and the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) have partnered to present the 2018 Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference (RMECC) on March 16-17 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. This year’s RMECC conference will feature 

Southwest Councils Come Together for Shared Learning

Leaders from six of Colorado’s southeastern Early Childhood Councils gathered in Trinidad to discuss opportunities for collaboration to support the region’s young children and their families. Together, they represented nine Colorado counties and serve a region with over 16,400 children zero to five years old. 

San Miguel County Ballot Measure Expands Child Care Availability for Families

Today, many families in Colorado consist of all available parents in the workforce. The accessibility of quality child care in communities across the state can vary widely. In San Miguel County, there is an extreme lack of early care and education options including child care 

Developmental Screening Transforms Grand and Jackson Counties

Every child learns and grows in a different way and at a different time. For parents and caregivers, it can be difficult to know if their child is developing normally. Developmental screenings, which identify strengths and delays in a child’s development and addresses them early, 

Larimer County Helps Kids Be Ready for School

There are 2000 days from birth to kindergarten to help children get the best start possible. Children with school readiness skills such as language development, physical and motor skills, and social and emotional development, are well prepared to enter kindergarten ready to learn and thrive. 

Building School Readiness in Rural Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Lincoln Counties

School readiness skills are learned by young children through interactions with their parents and caregivers. These skills include language development, physical and motor skills, and social and emotional development, which help children enter kindergarten ready to learn. For young children, school readiness is about listening 

Family Child Care Home Improvement Grants

In May 2021, ECCLA awarded $119,590 to 31 family child care homes across 11 counties in Colorado. Click on the link below for a list of recipients.

In 2020, ECCLA awarded $160,000 in grants to 45 family child care homes across Colorado for facilities improvements focused on expanding licensed capacity, health, safety, and quality improvement.

  • View a list of grant recipients.
  • Download the 2020 impact report.
Skip to content