(Video courtesy of the Butler Institute for Families.)

Goals & Community Learnings


All children and their families are valued socially and emotionally, healthy, and their relationships are thriving.


Increase coordination of early childhood systems, to expand prevention and promotion strategies to support the social-emotional health and development of children, ages prenatal through kindergarten transitions, throughout the region, and to ensure their success in school.

Lessons Learned

  • Early Childhood Councils are vehicles for systemic change. When given the funding and time to tackle systemic challenges, early childhood councils are able to identify and imbed the solutions needed to achieve sustainable success.
  • Identify champions early. Identifying agency-based champions early in the process is essential to successful implementation of sustainable solutions.
  • A regional approach strengthens relationships. The early childhood councils in Chaffee and Fremont counties approached LAUNCH Together as a regional effort. A history of working together to promote social-emotional knowledge and services was a solid foundation to build upon during and throughout this initiative.
  • Investing in the local workforce is essential. It is critical to offer ongoing professional development focused on strengthening families and promoting healthy social-emotional development to ensure young children benefit from nurturing experiences and have the foundation for lifelong learning and health.

Next Steps

  • Identify and access resources and funding to support system building. Community partners will continue to collaboratively respond quickly and effectively to system building opportunities, as well as crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Establish trauma responsive agencies. LAUNCH Together prompted a desire among local agencies for trauma responsive practices. An implementation plan that was interrupted by the pandemic has resumed.
  • Support integrated behavioral health. Recruit site-based champions and subject matter experts to support two additional primary care clinics in the implementation of integrated behavioral health practices.
  • Expand mental health consultation. Implementation of Kid Connects will continue in the current two ECE sites and opportunities will be sought to expand the program into additional sites.
  • Grow our own. Collaboration among local school districts, the community college, and community partners will continue to recruit and develop early childhood professionals to support local needs.


Community Partners

  • Chaffee County Early Childhood Council
  • Chaffee County Department of Public Health
  • Buena Vista School District
  • Salida School District
  • Salida Pregnancy Resource Center
  • Buena Vista Pregnancy Center
  • First Street Family Health
  • Nurse Family Partnership
  • Little Tykes Homestead
  • Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center
  • Solvista Health
  • Children’s Discovery Ranch
  • The Grove Preschool
  • Busy Bees Preschool