Making early childhood services and systems in Colorado more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable

The Community Innovation and Resilience for Care and Learning Equity (CIRCLE) Grant Program was a state-wide effort funded by the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) and distributed through Early Milestones. In 2022-23, $22.5 million in grants were awarded to 218 unique grantees. As a result, families in every Colorado county saw improved early childhood services.

The CIRCLE Grant Program has strengthened the landscape of early childhood services in the state through partnerships with dedicated leaders in dozens of communities. Moving forward, Colorado has the opportunity to build on the successes of the program to create an even brighter future for every young child in the state.

The Impact

A Critical Investment at a Critical Time

Each grant project took on specific early childhood system challenges worsened by the pandemic, with innovative, thoughtful, and equity-focused projects at the core of their work.

The grants sought to promote children’s health, social-emotional development, and learning. One such way was through specialized support and expanded training for children with disabilities and developmental delays and dual language learners. The program ensured they received individualized instruction to best aid their learning in the critical early childhood years.

The Grantees

The grants were strategically distributed across the state through a competitive process and were coupled with robust support for grantees during the application process. The projects’ focus on being responsive to the unique needs of each region ensured that solutions matched local communities. Grantees served a wide diversity of parents, families, and early childhood professionals. See the full list of grantees.

Innovation & Equity Profiles

(Esta descripción se repite en español.) The 18 grantees featured below focused on several innovative and equity-driven approaches. These included piloting new or novel strategies to address longstanding early childhood challenges. They also introduced or deepened diversity, equity, and inclusion practices to better serve diverse families, and/or removed barriers to access for historically marginalized children and families.

Los 18 beneficiarios que se presentan a continuación se centraron en varios enfoques innovadores e impulsados por la equidad. Estos incluyeron la puesta a prueba estrategias nuevas o novedosas para abordar los desafíos de larga data de la primera infancia. Tambièn introdujeron o profundizaron prácticas de diversidad, equidad e inclusión para servir mejor a familias diversas y/o eliminar barreras de acceso para niños y familias históricamente marginados.

Open the menu below for desired profile | Abra el menú a continuación para el perfil deseado:

The Interactive Dashboard

To better understand the scope and impact of the CIRCLE Grant Program, Marzano Research has created an interactive dashboard. In this dashboard, projects can be viewed by categories, counties served, topic area, and primary populations served.

Para comprender mejor el alcance y el impacto del programa de subvenciones CIRCLE, Marzano Research ha creado un tablero interactivo. En este tablero, los proyectos se pueden ver por categorías, condados atendidos, área temática y poblaciones primarias atendidas.


  • Marzano Research