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Colorado Creates Office of Early Childhood
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced the creation of an Office of Early Childhood (OEC) on June 7, 2012. The new office brought together seven early childhood programs that currently exist in four different divisions of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), allowing for greater collaboration and coordination both at the state-level and between the state and local communities delivering services.
The Office of Early Childhood includes the following initiatives:
A. Quality Initiatives
• Colorado Shines QRIS • Building a Great EC Workforce • Data • Early Learning & Development Guidelines • Gant Procurement Opportunities • Healthy Childcare Colorado • Infant/Toddler Quality/Availability • Kindergarten Readiness • Quality Improvement Initiatives • Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge • Results Matter • School Readiness Quality Improvement Program • Universal Application
B. Community & Family Support
• Colorado’s Children Trust Fund • Colorado Community Response • Safe Care Colorado • Family Resource Center Program • Early Intervention Colorado • Early Childhood Mental Health Unit • Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) • Nurse Home Visitor Program • Promoting Safe and Stable Families • Strengthening Colorado Families
C. Early Care & Learning
• HB14-1317 (CCCAP) • Background Investigations Unit • Childcare Assistance Program • Childcare Licensing & Administration • Complaint Filling Instructions • CHATAS Assessment Results • Training Vendors • Training and Resources
By consolidating early childhood programs into one office, the state increased information sharing, reduced red tape, and improved the quality of all early childhood programs. Though they are part of the OEC, the Head Start State Collaboration Office and the Early Childhood Leadership Commission physically moved to CDHS to make it easier for staff to work together to meet the needs of Colorado’s young children.
The Office of Early Childhood provides resources for children, families and early care professionals to best prepare Coloradans for future success, through access to collaborative, coordinated, quality early childhood programs and supports
• Provide access to necessary supports – to get all Colorado kids ready for Kindergarten and reading by 3rd grade • Provide community and family access to services for optimal early childhood development • Create a coordinated system of early identification and intervention • Increase access to quality early learning for all children • Collaborate with partners to create a coordinated system • Support continuous quality improvement