The Colorado legislature passed a monumental bill during the 2021 session that approved the launch of a brand new state Department of Early Childhood in the Executive Branch. This makes Colorado one of a handful of states that has an entire agency dedicated to early childhood policies and programs. The development of this new agency offers Colorado a unique opportunity to address the pervasive challenge of siloed early childhood funding and programs that often frustrates early childhood providers and leaves families feeling defeated when attempting to navigate the convoluted pathways to receive necessary services for their children.
One of the major focus areas of the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) transition advisory group is to build data and technology solutions that transform the family and provider experience from fragmentation to unification. A newly crafted comprehensive knowledge building strategy for the CDEC informs a holistic approach to data and technology. The Colorado Lab laid out an approach to effectively support the early childhood system and allow the state to comprehensively understand which families are being served and how and where to address unmet needs.
Colorado Department of Early Childhood
University of Denver, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab
Building Knowledge in Colorado’s New Department of Early Childhood
Recommendations for a Unified Early Childhood System