A Message from our CEO

by Emily Bustos, CEO

Emily Bustos

Dear Friends of the Council,

We know the last several weeks have been tough, and we want you to know that through it all, we are still here for you. I hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe, and I want to take this opportunity to let you know what the Council is doing to stay connected with our community, and how we are accommodating our service delivery in this new landscape that has been shaped by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

As most of you know, we have made significant, temporary operational changes to our work. The Council office is closed, and all staff have shifted to a remote-based model.

All in-person Council trainings have been suspended until it is determined from the Governor’s office that it is safe to return to work. We will be rescheduling some trainings for later dates and are shifting to online delivery where it makes sense.

Coaching services continue to be available on a remote basis. Coaches (Quality Specialists) are reaching out to inquire about technology capabilities and, if applicable, shifting priority topics for programs, including mental health supports for program staff and families. Denver Preschool Program (DPP) spending requests continue to be processed and Colorado Shines rating outreach and support will continue from the Quality Improvement Navigation team through remote options.  Stakeholder meetings, such as the CCAP Collaborative, Partner Network, and others will continue through remote options until further notice.

The Council is a vital resource for child care providers in Denver. Coaching support, navigation services, and professional development opportunities offered through the Council ensure that child care professionals are supported and that children across Denver experience high quality and resource-rich learning environments. The systems-building aspect of our work –  the behind-the-scenes work, if you will, such as being active in policy, advocacy, and local decision-making – is also critical to strengthening the child care workforce, part of the infrastructure that is becoming more and more evident as a crucial essential service with each passing day during this crisis.

As a collaborative organization by nature, now, more than ever, we are being called upon along with our other local and national early childhood partners to innovate and ensure continued delivery of services and short-term solutions during this crisis. Beyond the current circumstances, we must be thinking strategically about how we will support the long-term recovery of an already fragile workforce through a lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion. And beyond recovery, how will we take this opportunity to fix what was already broken and fundamentally flawed with the early childhood system?

While much remains uncertain, the Council’s commitment to deliver high quality services to hundreds of Denver child care programs and providers, and by extension the families they serve, is one thing that remains steadfast.

If you are in position to help, please consider donating to the Council to help bolster our efforts in meeting the needs of the child care community in this uncertain time.

Here are a couple of ways to contribute:

  1. Donate to Denver’s Early Childhood Council via our Colorado Gives Day portal.
  2. Send gift cards in $25 increments from establishments like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Safeway, and King Soopers. These cards will be given to open child care centers in need of budget relief for food and supplies. You can mail them to our office at 3532 Franklin Street, Suite F., Denver, CO 80205. We are picking up mail on a regular basis.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our mission at Denver’s Early Childhood Council.

Sincerely,

Emily Bustos, CEO

Denver’s Early Childhood Council

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