Workforce Strategies

The place is here, the time is now. Caregivers are key to providing the emotionally supportive and language-rich interactions necessary for preparing young children for school and positive long-term outcomes. There is a need for well-qualified early childhood teachers who have room to grow in the profession so they can build a career while supporting the success of children.

A Student, A Teacher, A Solution

Denver’s Early Childhood Workforce Initiative seeks to recruit and assist early childhood teaching professionals in licensed, high quality childcare programs in Denver. Building upon the program we piloted in 2018, we will focus on an accessible, “no wrong door” approach to recruit new early childhood teaching professionals, establishing supportive services to retain them, and providing a clear pathway to self-sufficiency in a long-term early childhood career.

How it works:

Targeted Recruitment: In partnership with the Denver Office of Economic Development, we are currently recruiting new professionals into the early childhood field from existing workforce development, business development, community resource centers and high school/GED programs.

Compensation and job-training: Upon entry into the workforce development program, participants are matched with high quality childcare programs in and around the neighborhoods of focus for a six-month, on-the-job training placement that begins around the same time as their first early childhood college-level course.

Education and Career Pathways: Participation requires a commitment to a six-month training and education program (one semester). Continued participation and pursuit of higher career pathway goals will be encouraged beyond the semester to help participants increase their wage-earning capacity to levels allowing for self-sufficiency and continued investment in their career goals.

Working Environments: This program takes a three-pronged “student first” approach in supporting participants to maintain both short-term and long-term career success. Targeted support activities are focused in three areas:

  • career skills
  • education
  • professional practice

Career pathways counseling, educational advising, mentorship and coaching are provided to support participants throughout the process.

The partners:

The Early Childhood Workforce Innovation grant was made possible by a public-private partnership led by Early Milestones Colorado that includes Gary Community Investments, Buell Foundation, the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Human Services. Rose Community Foundation is the fiscal sponsor of the grant-making effort and Mathematica Policy Research provides technical assistance and evaluation.