What are Early Childhood Councils?
Colorado is one of many states across the nation working hard to ensure that young children experience an equitable, high quality continuum of services and supports that leads to success in school and life. In 1997, the state made a concerted effort to build strong collaboration by piloting several local early childhood communities to strengthen and align resources, and effectively serve young children.
The pilot communities were a success, and in 2007 the Colorado General Assembly established Early Childhood Councils to positively impact services and supports for young children and their families by building local early childhood systems throughout the state. This legislation charged Councils with increasing and sustaining the quality, accessibility, capacity, and affordability of early childhood services for young children 0-5 years and their families in the areas early care and education, family support, mental health, and health.
Together, Councils improve the quality of early learning environments to prepare young children to enter kindergarten; build the resources and skills of families; ensure that families have access to social, physical, and mental health services; and deliver resources to increase the effectiveness of early childhood professionals. Observing Colorado’s long tradition of ensuring decisions remain as near to communities as possible – Councils are locally governed and coordinated with local partners.
All 34 Councils have a unique role within their local communities to serve as an early childhood hub for partners, providers, caregivers, policymakers, and business leaders to coordinate, collaborate, and align resources. Effectively, Councils “connect the dots” to create a seamless early childhood system that improves access to high quality services and supports for young children and their families in Colorado.
Find your local Council to learn more about the role they play in our communities.