Boots on the Ground Report
EARLY CHILDHOOD COUNCILS - Boots on the Ground: Advancing the Shared Vision for Colorado’s Children. Early Childhood Councils, established by legislation, are local collaboratives of public and private stakeholders in the community that work in close partnership to ensure that the youngest children are ready for school and families have the support they need to thrive. By sustaining a network of local, community-driven entities, it is possible to disseminate programming and best practices throughout the state as well as to gather diverse perspectives from Colorado’s many regions. This is the only formalized network that exists in Colorado that crosses all domains and is charged with facilitating development of a coordinated system that supports children by influencing their relationships, environments and communities. In addition, the Buell Foundation supports efforts to improve the access, quality and equity of the three early childhood domains as detailed in the Early Childhood Colorado Framework. As a unique network, the councils are an important lever for systemic change that impacts families with children ages zero to five, and it is imperative that councils function at a high level. This report was produced with support from the Buell Foundation. The Buell Foundation currently invests more than $2 million per year in the early childhood councils across the state. Funding is provided in the following areas: infrastructure & systems building, workforce & professional development, quality improvement, increasing access to high-quality child care, and other direct services.