An Innovative public-private partnership to advance the early childhood workforce in Colorado

photoThe Need.

Teachers are a significant contributor to children’s healthy development.  Yet, many communities still lack an effective, consistent workforce in whom families can place their trust and with whom young children can thrive.

The Focus.

It is time for Colorado to prioritize ways to attract and retain talented professionals in early childhood.  Our goal is to develop sustainable and varied approaches to support a well-qualified workforce throughout the State.

The Strategy.

We are researching the workforce and developing the State’s next generation Early Childhood Workforce and Professional Development Plan.  Under the guidance of the Early Childhood Professional Development Advisory and Early Childhood Learning Commission, the plan will focus on better ways to attract and keep talented professionals in the field and to ensure they are appropriately compensated.  We will test sustainable approaches to strengthen the workforce in communities across the state and ensure the spread of best practices by sharing our learnings.

Announcements

Early childhood professionals: We need your help!

Please complete the Colorado Early Childhood Workforce Survey. Your response will help Colorado state leaders and policymakers understand the challenges early childhood professionals face and update Colorado’s Early Childhood Professional Development Plan. By completing the survey, you will receive two professional development hours honored by Child Care Licensing and by Colorado’s Professional Development Information System (PDIS), and be entered into a drawing to win one of ten $200 cash prizes and one admission to the Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference!  For more information, contact eceworkforcesurvey@gmail.com

To access the survey: https://ucdenver.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_abflBaOEfO1Gyfr

More Information ›

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • + What is Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce in Colorado?

    Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce in Colorado is a public-private partnership initiative to develop sustainable and varied approaches to recruit, retain, compensate, and support a well-qualified workforce for young children. This will be done through research, planning, and pilots that will lead to the spread of best practices throughout the state.

    The work:

    Research: Collect information on the experience of the workforce; key programs, practices, and policies that affect them; and the impact of the workforce and industry on the local and state economy.

    Plan: Use research, stakeholder input, and local and state expertise to create the State’s next generation EC Workforce and Professional Development Plan. Plan development is guided by the Early Childhood Professional Development Advisory, a working group of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission, and informed through CO’s participation in the Incubation to Innovation (i2I) project with the National Academy of Medicine.

    Pilot: Test community-specific strategies to advance the unique needs of the EC workforce throughout Colorado, focused on recruitment, retention, and compensation.

    Communicate: Share strategies and learning to inform sustainable policy and program change and to spread effective approaches.

  • + Why is the project important for Colorado?

    The early childhood workforce is vital for Colorado’s…..

    Children: Teachers are a significant contributor to children’s healthy development. Yet, many communities still lack an effective, consistent early childhood workforce in whom families can place their trust and with whom young children can thrive.

    Families: In contrast to the critical nature of the work, wages in this sector are very low. Therefore, it is difficult to recruit and retain a high-quality and consistent workforce. Many areas of the state have teacher shortages, and parents struggle to find any care, let alone quality, consistent care that will support their children to thrive.

    Local Economies:   The early childhood workforce boosts local and state economies; the industry enables parents to work and financially provide for their families, while also employing a large workforce of teachers, administrators, and family child care professionals.

  • + Who oversees and funds the projects?

    Steering partners include Early Milestones Colorado, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Colorado Department of Human Services. Philanthropic partners include  Gary Community Investments and Buell Foundation.

  • + Who is developing Colorado's Next Generation Early Childhood Workforce and Professional Development Plan and when will it be completed?

    Guided by Colorado’s Early Learning Professional Development System Plan (2010), Colorado made great progress in advancing the early childhood (EC) workforce. Now it is time to update that plan.

    The Colorado Cohort and its related taskforces are working on the Next Generation Early Childhood Workforce and Professional Development Plan. The Colorado Cohort will recommend the plan to the Early Childhood Professional Development Advisory Group, a working group of the Program Quality and Alignment Committee under the Early Childhood Leadership Commission.

    The goal is to have the plan completed and endorsed by the Early Childhood Leadership Commission in May 2017.

  • + What is the Colorado Early Childhood Workforce Survey?

    The Colorado Early Childhood Workforce Survey is a way for those working with young children to tell state leaders about their experience working in early childhood settings in Colorado.

    Results will be used to update Colorado’s Early Childhood Professional Development System Plan and to design pilots to test strategies to better recruit, retain, support, and appropriately compensate the workforce.

    By completing the survey, participants will receive two professional development hours honored by Child Care Licensing and by Colorado’s Professional Development Information System (PDIS), and will be entered a drawing to win one of ten $200 cash prizes or entry into the Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference!

    For more information, contact Christi Chadwick

  • + Who should I contact to learn more about the Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce Project?

    Christi Chadwick

    Project Director

    cchadwick@earlymilestones.org

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