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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 an agreement with Qualistar Colorado to bring the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® COLORADO Scholarship Program to our organization. We are excited about this new opportunity and look forward to fully engaging local Early Childhood Councils in the program as we collaborate to better meet the needs of our state’s early childhood workforce.

A seamless transition of the program is currently in progress, and we recently welcomed Shannon Hall as Manager of Scholarships. We are already working closely in partnership with the Denver Preschool Program to implement T.E.A.C.H., and we look forward to garnering additional resources to support early childhood educators throughout Colorado in their pursuit of higher education

In addition, I am thrilled to announce that ECCLA received a significant grant from The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Colorado for general operating support. ECCLA has also received a new grant from The Connie Burwell White & William White Foundation, and we are grateful for their endorsement of our organization.

Also, we had a successful first year with Colorado Gives Day, and we owe our thanks to the ECCLA Board of Directors for their generous financial support as well. Last but certainly not least, we would not be here without our membership! Thank you to Colorado’s Early Childhood Councils for our collective effort to ensure the quality, capacity, and equity of services and supports for young children and their families.

More good news: ECCLA is honored to have been selected by the National Wildlife Federation as the early childhood partner for ECHO – Early Childhood Health Outdoors. ECHO a comprehensive initiative designed to ensure all young children in Colorado have daily access to quality outdoor learning environments where play and learning support development across all domains – cognitive, physical, social, and emotional.

ECCLA will serve as a primary conduit to the early childhood education community to build recognition, participation, and support for ECHO across the state and with Early Childhood Councils. We are thrilled about this new partnership!

Just a few weeks into the new legislative session, and ECCLA and several Councils have already voted to support several pieces of legislation supporting young children and their families, caregivers, and educators. We are exciting to support Governor Polis’s proposal to expand Full-Day Kindergarten and look forward to additional investments in early childhood from the new administration.

Also, we continue to advocate for Early Childhood Councils by engaging with the Early Childhood & School Readiness Legislative Commission and the Joint Budget Committee to ensure the state’s funding structure is conducive to Councils meeting their legislative intent. We look forward to working with new legislators and Colorado’s new administration to bring renewed enthusiasm and increased support for Councils throughout the state.

While we still have a great deal of work to do, I am so humbled to be working with such a remarkably talented, hard-working, and dedicated team of individuals – thanks to all of YOU!

Cheers –

Liz Houston
Executive Director

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