Announcement of the Early Childhood Workforce Innovation Grantees
Six partnerships have been selected to receive Early Childhood Workforce Innovation Grants as part of the larger Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce in Colorado Initiative. Grants, ranging from $25,000 to $250,000, will help advance innovative solutions through one or more levers for change: Compensation, Targeted Recruitment, Education and Career Pathways, and Working Conditions. Projects were selected based upon their strong partnerships, flexible approaches to improvement, and willingness to tackle Colorado’s workforce challenges by testing innovative ideas that hold the promise for long-term, systemic and sustainable change.
The selection process was highly competitive: 43 proposals were submitted, reflecting 47 of Colorado’s 64 counties. Proposals included unique partnerships from a variety of lead agencies, including local governments, early childhood programs, institutions of higher education, school districts, nonprofits, and early childhood councils. This round of funding is the first in what is anticipated to be a multi-year initiative.
The following is a brief summary of the proposed work and the lead agency for each project:
- Child Care 8000 (Compensation and Targeted Recruitment) – Focused on improving compensation through business efficiencies. Led by Mesa County Public Health.
- Compensation Parity in Summit County (Compensation) – Development of a county-wide salary schedule and shared services approach to benefits management. Led by Early Childhood Options.
- Denver’s Early Childhood Workforce Initiative (Targeted Recruitment and Education and Career Pathways) – An apprenticeship project aimed at increasing diverse and bilingual educators. Led by Denver’s Early Childhood Council.
- Expanding Professional Possibilities in Early Childhood (Targeted Recruitment, Education and Career Pathways, and Working Conditions) – ECE cohort program using a hybrid model of classes and placements in supportive work environments. Led by Early Childhood Council of Larimer County.
- La Plata County & Southern Ute EC Workforce Initiative (Targeted Recruitment and Education and Career Pathways) – Expansion of education pathways through a concurrent enrollment program. Led by Early Childhood Council of La Plata County.
- Pathways to Teaching (Targeted Recruitment and Education and Career Pathways) – Launch of a concurrent enrollment project coupled with internships and externships. Led by St. Vrain Valley School District.