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Early Childhood Evaluation Hub: Early Childhood Workforce – Recruitment, Retention and Quality and Spotlight on External Research Partner, Marzano Research


Between 2021 and 2022, the Colorado Department of Early Childhood received over $700 million in stimulus funding to strengthen Colorado’s early childhood sector. The Colorado Lab is coordinating the Early Childhood Evaluation Hub, contracting with multiple evaluation teams to conduct high-quality evaluations of more than a dozen prioritized stimulus-funded activities to ensure the goals of the activities are being met. We’re highlighting these great partners over the next several newsletters.

Early Childhood Workforce: Recruitment, Retention and Quality

To create a supportive work environment that attracts and retains a well-qualified and diverse early childhood workforce, stimulus-funded activities include:

  • Substitute Pool Fund – Supporting efforts to grow the number of substitute early childhood providers and make it easier and more affordable to access substitute providers. The intent is to improve work quality for early childhood providers, allowing them time to care for themselves and their families and to engage in professional development opportunities.
  • Family Child Care Home and Availability and Outreach of Child Care Navigator Programs – Navigators familiar with the communities they serve will provide timely, reliable data on child care openings and connect both families and home providers to needed information and resources.
  • Staffed Family Child Care Home Network – Using an evidence-based model, the national nonprofit All Our Kin will provide trainings to three pilot sites across Colorado with the goal of increasing business efficiencies and sustaining early childhood care providers. The pilot sites will, in turn, provide the training to a broader network of home providers.

Spotlight on External Research Partner: Marzano Research

The Colorado Lab selected Marzano Research to evaluate these stimulus-funded activities. The team is led by managing senior researcher Dr. Carrie Germeroth who has expertise in early childhood development and learning with underresourced populations.

Through interviews and surveys of the Early Childhood Councils, Navigators, and other intermediaries implementing these activities, as well as child care providers, and the analysis of administrative data, the team’s evaluation efforts will seek to:

  • Understand how the activities were designed and implemented, with a focus on support provided.
  • Track performance metrics such as trends in program participation, substitute pool utilization, and types of support utilized.
  • Unearth challenges, success factors, and lessons learned to guide future investments.

“The through-line across these diverse efforts is the recruitment and retention of a well-qualified, diverse early childhood workforce,” Germeroth said. “This is incredibly important, especially following the pandemic which exacerbated already existing weaknesses in this workforce.”

Carrie Germeroth

To learn more about the Early Childhood Stimulus Evaluation Hub, visit our website or contact Dr. Whitney LeBoeuf.