Early Milestones Colorado works to ensure that all children and families, especially those who have been historically marginalized, have access to the opportunities and resources needed to be valued, healthy, and thriving. We strive to embed an equity lens into our daily work and continually update our practices to reflect new learning.


(This diagram was adapted from Krys Burnette and Praxis Consulting Group.)


DIVERSITY refers to the psychological, physical, and social differences that occur among any and all individuals, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, and learning styles.

(Source: Equity in the Center: Awake to Woke to Work)

EQUITY is the fair treatment of all people so that everyone has access to the opportunities, structures, systems, and resources needed to enjoy full, healthy lives. Ensuring equity requires the elimination of personal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural barriers that prevent the full participation and advancement of groups of people who have been historically underserved and underrepresented.

(Sources: National Council of Nonprofits; Equity in the Center: Awake to Woke to Work; D5 Coalition: State of the Work).

INCLUSION is the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate and be their full, authentic selves. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in the words, actions, and thoughts of all people. More than simply diversity and numerical representation, inclusion involves authentic and empowered participation and a true sense of belonging.

(Sources: Equity in the Center: Awake to Woke to Work; Annie E. Casey Foundation: Embracing Equity: 7 Steps to Advance and Embed Race Equity and Inclusion Within Your Organization).

BELONGING occurs when diversity, equity, and inclusion intersect.

Acknowledgements & Affirmations

We acknowledge and honor the Indigenous Nations who were the original inhabitants of the land which is now the state of Colorado. (For more information on land acknowledgments, visit Native Land Digital and American Indians in Children’s Literature.)

Our country has historically granted power and privilege to euro-centric culture while disadvantaging people of color. This continues today and causes inequities of access and opportunities for the children and families we serve. We must continually acknowledge and address this fact as we work to create an early childhood system that meets the needs of all Coloradans.

We are committed to the development of every child, regardless of ability, race, place, income, language, culture, gender, or sexual-/gender-identification. We believe optimal development occurs within the context of:

  • caring relationships with adults
  • safe, stable, and supportive environments
  • local and state systems that prioritize children and families

To live out our commitment to equity, we strive to…

Internally, in the organization’s operations

  • be self-reflective and examine our own individual implicit biases and our individual roles in the organizational culture;
  • make changes as needed to ensure the values of diversity, equity, and belonging are upheld fully within our organizational culture, policies, and procedures and regularly assess the impact of our efforts;
  • make decisions with an equity lens to understand how they may either dismantle or perpetuate inequities and assess the impact of our efforts; and
  • build a board and staff that is reflective of the children and families we serve and functions to ensure these values are fully expressed.

Externally, through the organization’s work

To promote equity within the systems that serve children and families in Colorado, we strive to…

  • through data collection, research and evaluation, and listening to diverse voices, understand how equity is and is not realized across early childhood systems in our state and communicate that knowledge and ideas for change to decision makers and practitioners;
  • identify policy and practice solutions for realizing greater equity in programs and systems and take action to foster their adoption and implementation; and
  • partner with communities to identify solutions and implement new policies and practices.