Paving the way to a brighter future for children and families in Jefferson County

The Jeffco Bright Futures Roadmap was developed in 2019 by a diverse group of community stakeholders. The Roadmap aims to ensure the healthy development of all Jeffco children. It builds on existing county assets and addresses needs across early learning, family support and education, and health and well-being.

Early Milestones facilitated a community engagement process, led a site visit to a national model community, conducted research on best practices and costs, and authored the Roadmap and executive summary.

In response to the systemic changes that took place throughout the pandemic, Early Milestones reengaged partners in Jeffco to determine the best next steps for the Roadmap in 2022. This work included reconvening the original Steering Committee with the addition of new voices; hearing from Jeffco families and employers to understand how the pandemic impacted their experiences within the four Roadmap cornerstones; updating stakeholders on the evolving state and federal early childhood landscape; and creating an action plan to guide stakeholders in moving the work forward in the short term.

The action plan was completed in June of 2022 and is being used by partners to inform local plans for the Universal Preschool Program and other early childhood initiatives.

Read the Roadmap

The Roadmap reflects a shared vision and a five-year plan of actionable strategies for the county’s children, prenatal through age eight, and their families.

Bright Futures Roadmap cover

Roadmap Cornerstones

These goals reflect community needs and desired outcomes.

Cornerstone #1

Families in Jefferson County have a variety of high-quality early care and education options that meet their needs and are provided through a mixed-delivery system.

Cornerstone #2

Families in Jefferson County are supported in their roles as children’s first and most important teachers through an array of home visitation services that meet their diverse needs.

Cornerstone #3

Programs and providers in Jefferson County have access to mental health consultation in order to fully support families’ social-emotional well-being.

Cornerstone #4

Jefferson County has a robust screening, assessment, and referral system that addresses physical, social-emotional, behavioral, and social determinants of health.

What Caregivers Said

Jeffco caregivers and parents attended community listening sessions and shared successes and challenges, which informed the Roadmap.

I have never used child care to go to work because my earnings would just barely cover the cost of child care for me to work. My income wouldn’t be enough to buy food or clothes or help us save to get ahead. Everything I would make would go straight to child care.

As a new mom, I participated in a home visitation program, and it was so helpful. They helped us understand baby proofing, how to read to and interact with our kid, and helped me feel more confident as a parent. On a scale from 1 to 10, I’d give them an 11. It was a great experience.

When it comes to mental health issues, timely accessibility is key. If it takes months and months to get the help you need right now, smaller issues turn into bigger problems. It’s frustrating and stressful for a parent, who is seeking help for their child, to be referred to different providers, not hear back from them, or be placed on long waiting lists for the help they need now.

Pediatricians are really busy and a lot of times the visit seems rushed. Our time with the pediatrician is 15 minutes so there is no time for discussion. I want to understand where my daughter should be (developmentally) so I can support her. What should I know or do to help her? The pediatrician just walks through these checklists, and there is hardly any time for these conversations or for me to ask questions.

Project Team

Katie Danna-Poston

Project Manager (Lead)


Thank you to the leaders representing business, education, families, government, health, human services, and philanthropy who participated in the steering committee, the many families who provided input, and the organizations who spearheaded the work.

  • Jeffco Public Schools
  • Jefferson County Colorado
  • Jefferson County Colorado Public Health
  • Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation