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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 Childhood Councils to continue to support the development and implementation of the work of the new department, including Universal Preschool. We greatly appreciate the robust efforts that have been undertaken to gather feedback to create informed recommendations that would support the development of the Department of Early Childhood.

It is also our mission to advocate for and strengthen the accessibility, quality, and equity of local services and supports through a responsive statewide system of Early Childhood Councils to benefit Colorado’s young children, their families, and early childhood Professional. Given our mission we are excited to see recommendations that highlight coordinating systems across state and local levels, and ensuring local implementation is supported within the new Department.

As recommendations are considered for the Department of Early Childhood, we believe it is important for policy makers to consider the following as they move forward with planning:

– Ensure equitable access to high quality, coordinated, and comprehensive services that address the whole child, including family support and education, health and wellbeing, and learning and development as outlined in the Colorado Early Childhood Framework.

– Dismantling systemic and institutional racism that has traditionally been present in early childhood spaces through strong data collection, accountability, inclusion of community voice in decision making, and addressing policy and rule making to ensure equitable implementation.

– Recognition and reliance on a strong partnership with local Early Childhood Councils and the existing local infrastructure to support coordinated and comprehensive early childhood service implementation, as intended under HB 07-1062 and subsequent Rule 7.717.

– Supporting and sustainably resourcing local infrastructure to deliver on the strategies and promises of the Department and Universal Preschool.

– Providing clear and transparent pathways for community feedback and steps for recourse when implementation of policy and programs has unintended consequences in Colorado’s diverse communities.

We hope that these considerations will result in a strong department that supports and enhances the local implementation of coordinated and comprehensive services that ensure all children in Colorado are valued, healthy, and thriving.

Adopted 10/21/21 For more information contact maegan@ecclacolorado.org

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