2021 Early Childhood Workforce Innovation Grants Request for Proposals

The Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce in Colorado Initiative is pleased to release the Request for Proposals for 2021 funding for partnerships interested in advancing the early childhood workforce. The Initiative is an innovative public-private partnership between Buell Foundation, Gary Community Investments, Early Milestones Colorado, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Colorado Department of Human Services.

Funding Opportunity: 2021 Early Childhood Workforce Innovation Grants

Those with innovative ideas for systemic change in workforce recruitment, retention, compensation, and support are invited to apply. We are looking for committed partners interested in supporting and expanding an effective, qualified early childhood workforce. The emphasis is on data-informed, sustainable, systems-building efforts that address workforce challenges and inform broader change. To learn more about the 2018, 2019, or 2020 grants, visit the Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce in Colorado Initiative web page.

As a part of this Initiative, the Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce in Colorado Team will:

  • Invest in local partnerships to implement innovative, scalable, and sustainable strategies to advance the early childhood workforce
  • Work in partnership with Mathematica Policy Research to provide technical assistance using data to accelerate learning and implementation success
  • Evaluate the progress and outcomes of the Initiative
  • Support local-to-state feedback loops to reduce system-level barriers to improving early childhood workforce recruitment, retention, and compensation

Early Childhood Workforce Innovation Grantees will:

  • Implement projects with a long-term goal of impacting recruitment, retention, compensation, and/or support of the workforce
  • Collect and use data on the project to analyze performance and adjust for greater effectiveness
  • Share data and information to inform change at the broader state system level
  • Participate in technical assistance and evaluation efforts provided by the Initiative
  • Engage in a learning community to share progress, successes, opportunities, and barriers

Lead Agency: Early Milestones Colorado is the lead agency in supporting efforts to advance the workforce and the primary point of contact for information about this funding opportunity.

Grant Awards: We encourage proposals for grants of all sizes to meet individual project needs, with a plan to expend funds during the project period.

Grant Period: Successful proposals will be funded for a one-year period, from June 1, 2021, through May 31, 2022.

Key Dates:

  • January 8, 2021 — RFP release
  • January 14, 2021 (10:00 a.m.) — Informational webinar
  • February 2, 2021 (5:00 p.m.) — Intention to apply due
  • February 24, 2021 (5:00 p.m.) — Proposal due
  • June 1, 2021 — Awarded projects start

Important Documents:

The RFP is also posted online at http://www.coloradoecworkforce.org, along with research and resources about the early childhood workforce in Colorado. Please register to attend the informational webinar to learn more about this opportunity.

Feel free to contact Kacee Miller, Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce in Colorado Project Director, Early Milestones Colorado, with questions.

The innovative work of Initiative grantees is being featured in Colorado Public Radio’s series “The Workforce Behind the Workforce: Confronting Colorado’s Critical Child Care Staffing Shortage.” Read the first story now.