The Colorado Lab is dedicated to creating actionable research. A recent effort to create a snapshot of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce, funded by the Piton Foundation and the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, was no exception. The Snapshot Report demonstrated that “high turnover in the field exacerbates the workforce shortage and hinders childcare quality,” and pointed to low pay as a contributing factor.
In the early days of the pandemic, many child care centers and other educational institutions temporarily shut down, while essential workers, particularly in the health care industry, desperately needed care for their own children. Countless early childhood educators lost their jobs in the closures, yet centers that remained open to care for the children of essential workers faced significant staff shortages. But how to fill these diverse and dispersed needs, especially during a public health crisis?
Preventing homelessness of youth formerly in foster care begins with understanding characteristics of those most at risk. This project connects child welfare to homeless services data in the Denver metro area to inform policies and practices aimed at ensuring youth aging out of foster care have stable housing.
Families affected by substance use during a pregnancy are at risk for infant and maternal mortality, significant health consequences, and threats to well-being of the family as a whole. This data linkage study improves our ability to monitor current trends by establishing a comprehensive set of definitions for prenatal substance use for affected mothers and infants in Colorado.
Youth who run away from home are likely to be involved in the juvenile justice or child welfare systems within one year. This Pay for Success project examined the impact of “rapid responders” on connecting youth and families to evidence-based services that ultimately prevent deeper juvenile justice or child welfare involvement.