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.
The convening was hosted by the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) and Huerfano-Las Animas Counties Early Childhood Council. Collectively, leaders discussed regional strengths, barriers, and policy solutions to adequately prepare young children for school and beyond; meet the needs of local families; and increase positive child outcomes. They shared strategies for increasing regional collaboration, sharing resources, and engaging community members and policy leaders in local solutions.
This group of leaders included Early Childhood Council coordinators, members, and board members representing a variety of organizations within the early childhood system. Early Childhood Councils included Bent, Otero & Crowley Early Childhood Council; Custer County Kids Council; ECHO & Family Center Early Childhood Council; Huerfano-Las Animas Counties Early Childhood Council; Pueblo Early Childhood Council; and Roots and Wings for Children, Prowers County Early Childhood Council.
From these robust conversations, ECCLA and Council leaders plan to engage more closely with County Commissioners and County Human Services Directors to further local collaboration on early childhood issues. ECCLA would like to determine ways to continue facilitating shared learning by supporting Council coordinators to travel to each other’s communities to attend local meetings, learn about effective tools and strategies, and share their success stories.