A Season of Reflection, Gratitude, Change and Giving

by Scott Burns, Board Chair, Denver’s Early Childhood Council

Scott Burns

As we begin the season of gratitude and giving and reflect on this past year, I’d like you to think about what you are thankful for in this world.  Now, think about what it means for a family to have access to high quality, affordable child care. Enrollment in a high-quality program can help a child get ready for school and succeed in later life while at the same time, enabling one’s parents to go to work, advance their career and increase their earning potential, creating a two-generation economic benefit.

Research shows that funds spent on young children is an effective investment, with immediate and lasting benefits to parents and children. In fact, in 2015 under President Obama, the President’s Council of Economic Advisors’ report on the Economics of Early Childhood indicated that investments in high-quality early education generate economic returns of over $8 for every $1 spent. See FACT SHEET: Helping All Working Families with Young Children Afford Child Care.

Denver’s Early Childhood Council has a long history in our city improving systems and working to increase equitable access for children to high quality child care. It’s been 25 years since the Joint Council for early childhood education was convened here in Denver by Mayor Wellington Webb and Denver Public Schools Superintendent Evie Dennis.

There have been many partners and milestones along the way, including the creation of early childhood councils as a statewide network in 2007 and the growth in our local early childhood systems building and quality improvement initiatives that led to Denver’s Early Childhood Council launching as a nonprofit in 2011. Since then, we have expanded our services to equip family, friend and neighbor caregivers with health/safety training and resources, facilitated social-emotional/mental health supports and training for community members, guided career development for child care professionals, and have helped raise the bar on quality in early learning environments.

Additionally, in 2017 our structure changed in response to new rules for early childhood councils. Alongside our Board of Directors, we have added an Early Childhood Oversight Council of key stakeholders across all domains of early childhood and school readiness. Going forward, the Oversight Council will be engaged in the strategic direction of funded programs of the Council. While we welcomed new members to both the Board and the Oversight Council earlier this year, we also would like to acknowledge and thank our past and current board members, individual donors and network partners who have helped us on our journey of ensuring every young child in Denver enters school ready to succeed.

Tuesday, December 5th, is Colorado Gives Day and I invite you to join us on this journey by making a donation to Denver’s Early Childhood Council* to help us continue investing in the future of children and families in Denver. To learn more about the work of the Council and how you can help, visit our profile at Coloradogives.org.

“For it is in giving that we receive.” – St. Francis of Assisi

Warmest wishes this holiday season,

Scott Burns, Board Chair

* Monetary contributions to Denver’s Early Childhood Council are fully tax deductible and allow for a tax credit of 50% of the total qualifying contribution for the Colorado Child Care Contribution Credit.

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