Between 2021 and 2022, the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) received over $465 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and ARPA Child Care and Development Fund supplemental discretionary award funding. The stimulus-funded strategies are focused on strengthening and expanding the early childhood sector in Colorado and supporting families and the workforce to ensure all children have access to high-quality child care.
Evaluation of the stimulus-funded activities is complex because the funds are being dispersed in a variety of ways and at different points in time. Also, many of the stimulus-funded activities have shared outcomes of interest, making it difficult to separate what is creating change in any one outcome. CDEC has contracted with the Colorado Lab to serve as the early childhood evaluation hub to design and facilitate the evaluation work so the best possible evaluation strategies are pursued. The Colorado Lab’s experience and expertise in government and research partnerships and evaluation provides CDEC with the confidence that high-quality research and evaluation will be accomplished and removes the burden of managing this complex work within state government.
Expected contributions of this work include:
- Selection of expert evaluation teams capable of conducting work required to meet evaluation recommendations.
- Bringing in research and evaluation subject matter experts in Colorado who will be direct advisors to evaluation teams. These subject matter experts represent the topic areas addressed through stimulus funding including early childhood program access and quality, the early childhood workforce, and family strengthening strategies.
- Coordination and oversight of the evaluation activities so that actionable information will be obtained.
- Coordination and oversight of the collection and use of administrative data for evaluation activities including the use of the Linked Information Network of Colorado (LINC) where appropriate.
- Sharing of evaluation findings with CDEC and key stakeholders so the information can be used for evidence building and decision making.
Colorado Department of Early Childhood
University of Denver, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab
Evaluation Team One-Pagers
Spotlight on CCCAP Activities
Brodsky Research & Consulting
Spotlight on Stabilization & Sustainability Activities
Butler Institute for Families (University of Denver) – Ann Wacker
Spotlight on Workforce Activities
Butler Institute for Families (University of Denver) – Meg Franko
Spotlight on Family Strengthening and Child Maltreatment Prevention
Spotlight on Intermediary Organization Support Activities
Spotlight on CCCAP Teacher Wage Increase
MDRC & Metrix IQ
Spotlight on Child Care Expansion Activities
Schultz Patel Evaluation