WHAT ARE EARLY CHILDHOOD COUNCILS?
Colorado is home to 34 Early Childhood Councils that work in local communities to coordinate across an array of partners and systems to create an effective and resource-efficient local early childhood system.
Early Childhood Councils work at the intersection of distinct and interconnected early childhood systems that are each essential to support the health and well-being of children and families. Linking these systems together creates a strong local early childhood system that helps to ensure children enter school ready to learn, and parents can work and provide for their families.
GIVING CHILDREN A STRONG START
Child care, health care, oral health and mental health care services, as well as nutrition programs and other support are all essential to ensure that children and families have a strong foundation.
Yet even when there are available programs in the community, families often struggle to get the support they need. Early childhood can be a confusing landscape that makes it difficult to find help.
Colorado’s Early Childhood Councils address this problem by developing and maintaining coordinated, aligned early childhood systems in local communities that include a broad array of community stakeholders.
Members of Councils, as illustrated in the diagram and outlined in statute, serve in their roles as volunteers.
Graphic courtesy of Buell Foundation
HISTORY & IMPACT OF EARLY CHILDHOOD COUNCILS
This report from the Buell Foundation chronicles the history and remarkable impact of Colorado’s 34 Early Childhood Councils.
AS DIVERSE AS THE COMMUNITIES THEY SERVE
Colorado’s 34 Early Childhood Councils are as different and varied as the Colorado landscape. Councils vary in size and staff numbers, and each Council has different focus areas depending on the needs and conditions in the communities they serve.
Early Childhood Councils operate under the rules and requirements detailed in Colorado statute. Half of the Early Childhood Councils are independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations; the other half operate under a fiscal agent (e.g., local school district, community college).
34 Local Councils Serving Local Needs
Colorado’s Early Childhood Councils cover 63 of the state’s 64 counties.
Early Childhood Councils conduct regular community needs assessments to ensure that resources and efforts are aligned with the evolving needs of families.
Because the challenges local communities face are too complex for any one agency to take on alone, Councils work to align all of the stakeholders in a local community around solutions that ensure the most efficient use of resources.
Graphic courtesy of Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA)
The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) works at a statewide level to advocate for Councils, and improve the quality, capacity, and equity of services and support for Colorado’s youngest children and their families.