Colorado Shines Brighter - Preschool Development Grant

  • Colorado's Statewide Birth through Five Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan

    In 2018, Colorado was awarded a $5.8 million initial Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) initial grant requiring the completion of a comprehensive, statewide birth through five Needs Assessment of the current landscape of the early care and education mixed-delivery system, which resulted in Colorado Shines Brighter: Opportunities for Colorado’s Early Childhood System

    To address the 12 key findings from the needs assessment, the Colorado Shines Brighter Strategic Plan outlines opportunities to maximize the availability of high-quality early care and education options for low-income and underserved families across providers and partners; improve the quality of care; streamline administrative infrastructure; and improve state-level early care and education funding efficiencies. Many of the strategies within the strategic plan will be implemented under the state's  PDG B-5 Renewal Grant, providing $11,171,969 in funding per year for three years (2020-2022).

    Needs Assessment Reports


    Strategic Plan


    Other Reports/Resources

  • Preschool Development Grant News and Updates

    View the full list of initial grant activities (2019) and resultant reports or resources HERE
    Renewal grant activities can be tracked HERE

    Stay Connected!

    Receive the latest PDG B-5 news in your in-box! Sign up for the Colorado Shines Brighter Newsletter.

    The Preschool Development Grant team provides regular updates to the Early Childhood Leadership Commission's Program Quality and Alignment (PQA) Subcommittee, the advisory body for the Colorado's PDG B-5 grant. Visit the Program Quality & Alignment Subcommittee webpage for more information including meeting dates, agendas, recordings, and supporting documents.

    The Latest Preschool Development Grant News and Updates

    Share The PLAYbook with parents and caregivers in your community!
    The PLAYbook contains information and activities that anyone caring for young children – including parents, siblings, guardians, grandparents, babysitters, neighbors, and family friends - can use to prepare children to be successful when entering kindergarten. The PLAYbook is designed to get parents and caregivers thinking about building children's skills in the locations where they spend time together, using what they may already have around their home through play. The PLAYbook is available in English and Spanish. The digital version allows users to download the document, take notes, use checklists, and engage with interactive tools! Access the communications toolkit to share The PLAYbook! Contact Amanda Culbertson at Amanda.Culbertson@state.co.us with questions.This work is responsive to the Colorado Shines Brighter strategy 3.1.1 School Readiness Handbook.

    New and improved Colorado Shines Professional Development Information Systems (PDIS) now available!
    The Colorado Shines PDIS is the statewide system that provides training and tracks the qualifications and credentials of early childhood professionals. The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) rebuilt and improved the PDIS to better support professional development. The technology for the new Colorado Shines PDIS is easier to use and more reliable. The requirements for child care licensing and voluntary credentials, such as the Early Childhood Professional Credential, are aligned to make the process easier to navigate. The new Colorado Shines PDIS includes an updated Early Childhood Professional Credential 3.0 with simpler scoring. The new PDIS is a single place for professionals to apply for and receive qualifications for a wide variety of roles. This system launched June 14, 2021 - watch this video playlist to learn about the new PDIS! The PDIS website has changed - please use ColoradoShinesPDIS.com

    This work is responsive to the Colorado Shines Brighter strategies 1.1.3 Workforce Data System Modernization and 6.2.1 Professional Development Information System.

    Introducing the New Colorado Shines QRIS Framework
    Para obtener información en español, haga clic aquí.
    The Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) promotes quality in early care and learning programs by empowering providers to create safe, nurturing, and educational environments for our state’s youngest children. The QRIS Framework is a collection of evidence-based indicators of quality grouped into five standard areas: Workforce and Professional Development, Family Partnerships, Leadership, Management and Administration, Learning Environment, and Child Health.

    After extensive stakeholder engagement and close collaboration with child care quality experts over many months, the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) is pleased to present a comprehensive update to the Colorado Shines QRIS framework. The update will launch on January 1, 2022. View the updated Colorado Shines QRIS Framework indicators.

    Highlights of the Framework updates include: 

    • Simplified scoring, elimination of redundant indicators, streamlined verification
    • Recognition of the unique circumstances of family child care homes
    • Alignment with the latest research on quality in early care and education

    In-person Colorado Shines ratings will start up again in January 2022, using the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale®, Third Editions (ITERS-3, ECERS-3, and FCCERS-3). For more information on the ERS-3 and updates to the Colorado Shines QRIS Framework, view some frequently asked questions and the QRIS fact sheet

    This work is responsive to the Colorado Shines Brighter strategy 6.1.1 Colorado Shines Updates.

    • Training, Scholarships, and Grants for Early Care & Education Professionals

      Colorado Shines QRIS In-person Ratings to Resume in January - Training Available Now

      In-person Colorado Shines ratings will start up again in January 2022 using the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale®, Third Editions (ITERS-3, ECERS-3, and FCCERS-3). Also in January, the Office of Early Childhood will launch an updated Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) framework, which has been optimized in response to your feedback. For more information on the ERS-3 and updates to the Colorado Shines QRIS Framework, view some frequently asked questions and the QRIS fact sheet

      Clayton Early Learning and the Office of Early Childhood are excited to announce free, virtual training for early care and education professionals on the ECERS-3 and ITERS-3. Courses will be interactive and instructor-led eLearning training. Visit the Clayton Early Learning website to learn more and register! Programs may also access training through the Colorado Shines PDIS

      This work is responsive to the Colorado Shines Brighter strategy 6.1.1 Colorado Shines Updates.

      Business Supports for Child Care Providers/Apoyos comerciales para proveedores de cuidado infantil

      The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) and the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) are continuing to enhance the business acumen of licensed child care providers. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) across the state will offer business training courses to licensed child care providers at no cost. The following SBDCs will offer training in 2021: Aurora South-Metro, Boulder, Denver Metro, East, Pikes Peak, North Metro, and West Central. The training courses will be offered virtually to providers around the state, but may include content specific to the community in which the SBDC is housed. Each training will be focused on one of the following target populations: child care centers, family child care homes, or programs interested in starting up or expanding. Additionally, at least one training will be conducted in Spanish. Trainings will include 4-6 sessions covering business best practices. 

      In addition to the training, SBDC consultants around the state are available to work with licensed providers for one-on-one consultation on business needs, such as building a budget or seeking financial support (e.g. grants, PPP loans). Consultation is now available at no cost in English and Spanish. Click here to register for an appointment today!

      Current Training Opportunities/Oportunidades de formación actuales:

      Budgeting, Cash Flow, and Taxes for Child Care Providers (West Central SBDC): If you dream about taking a paid two-week vacation each year but your child care business hasn't quite gotten you there yet, you won't want to miss this on-demand series. Learn how to leverage cash flow as a financial planning tool, start making better business decisions, and begin planning your vacation while earning professional development hours in the PDIS system! 9-session, self-paced webinar series with one-on-one support from SBDC consultants. Participants can earn professional development hours through the Colorado Shines Professional Development Information System (PDIS) by completing all 9 modules and checking their understanding at a minimum of 2 consultation sessions.  Participants who meet these requirements will receive a survey to capture their PDIS user information. This training is designed for in-home and small facility providers. Click here to register!

      LEADING EDGE Entrenamiento para negocios de cuidado de niños basados en casa (Aurora - South Metro SBDC): Tiene un centro de cuidado de niños en su hogar? Quiere aprender a manejar mejor su negocio? Necesita promocionar sus servicios?  Entonces esta clase GRATUITA es para usted! En esta clase, usted aprenderá técni­cas y estrategias para manejar las finanzas, el mercadeo y las operaciones de su negocio.Los objetivos incluyen: establecerá su modelo de negocio, aprenderá a maximizar sus ingresos, entenderá sus costos y aprenderá a minimizar sus gastos, y entenderá como utilizar los medios sociales para promocionar su negocio. Esta clase es para dos audiencias: Proveedores de cuidado de niños basados en casa que necesitan entender su modelo de negocio, finanzas, aspectos legales, aseguranza y marketing; y nuevos negocios de cuidados de niños que necesitan ayuda para empezar su negocio y crecer. Regístrese aquí:  https://bit.ly/3wvvuSD (Fecha: miércoles, 15, 22, 29 de septiembre y 6, 13, 20 de octubre - Hora: 6:00 - 8:30 PM).

      Leading Edge for Center-based Child Care Providers (Pikes Peak SBDC): This course is offered at 9:00am-12:00pm on Saturdays, beginning on October 16th through November 20th.The LEADING EDGE™ Course is a trademarked, statewide program for current business owners (or startups who are moving from idea stage to implementation). The Pikes Peak SBDC's LEADING EDGE™ for Child Care Providers is created to help both licensed child care providers (center-based) and start-ups. The program assists child care providers to strengthen business practices and the ever changing landscape of the Colorado workforce. In partnership with the Alliance for Kids and Early Connections, the SBDC is hosting this 6-week impactful courses with the goal of enhancing business owner skills. Child care providers can earn professional development hours through the Professional Development Information System (PDIS) by attending all training sessions. A recorded option and follow up with the trainer is available if you have to miss a live class. Click here to register!

      This work is responsive to the Colorado Shines Brighter strategy 5.1.2 Business Practices. 

      Free Orientation for Prospective Licensed Family Child Care Home Providers

      For individuals who are interested in obtaining a Family Child Care Home license, the Office of Early Childhood has created a FREE 1-hour orientation which will provide information about licensing requirements and detailed instructions on how to submit an original family child care home application including information on required background checks. This class will be offered through the OEC, and will be delivered by individuals on the licensing team through a live, instructor-led virtual session. 

      The goal of this training is to support potential providers through what can be an overwhelming and confusing process, and to provide them with the right information at the right time. The OEC is hopeful that the orientation will: 

      • Reduce the number of send-backs of applications that are incomplete or incorrect.

      • Support potential providers as they assess whether they have the ability/resources to be in compliance with licensing requirements. 

      • Connect interested parties with valuable community resources and support, including possible grant monies for start up funds. 

      • Prevent over-payment and money loss due to the State’s inability to offer refunds.

      • Hopefully make the application process run smoothly all the way around! 

      This class is in "beta" testing, which means that the OEC is testing out different aspects of delivery including: how the class is offered, what material is covered, and whether the orientation decreases frustration and improves provider outcomes. We welcome all feedback! Register for upcoming orientation dates.

      This work is responsive to the Colorado Shines Brighter strategy 6.2.1 Professional Development Information System.

      Support Transitions to Kindergarten this Fall

      The key to successful transitions to kindergarten is that both “sides” of the transition are engaged—early care and education (ECE) programs (the “sending” side) and elementary schools (the “receiving” side). This tool developed by the National P-3 Center  provides a timeline and checklist of activities for ECE programs and elementary schools to support transitions.

      This work is responsive to Colorado Shines Brighter strategies 1.3.1 Transitions Toolkit & Marketplace, and 1.3.2 Transitions Roadmap.

      Child Development Associate Scholarships/Becas para asociados en desarrollo infantil

      The Office of Early Childhood, in partnership with Red Rocks Community College and Mesa County Public Health, has released the application for Child Development Associate (CDA) Scholarships for new CDA candidates and renewal candidates. Funding will support training costs and assessment fees for approximately 220 new CDA candidates and assessment fees for approximately 70 candidates. Advisors will be available to help candidates find a training program that meets CDA requirements and assist with the creation of their portfolio for final assessment. Visit the Red Rocks Child Care Innovations website or contact Julia Brink (julia.brink@rrcc.edu) for more information. The next round of applications will open in February 2022

      This work is responsive to the Colorado Shines Brighter strategy 6.2.2 CDA Scholarship.

    • Engage and Support Families

      Colorado's Preschool Development Grant is committed to supporting parents and caregivers. The following activities represent work under the Colorado Shines Brighter Strategic Plan Goal 3: Maximize Family Knowledge, Engagement and Support.

      Share The PLAYbook with parents and caregivers in your community!

      The PLAYbook contains information and activities that anyone caring for young children – including parents, siblings, guardians, grandparents, babysitters, neighbors, and family friends - can use to prepare children to be successful when entering kindergarten. The PLAYbook is designed to get parents and caregivers thinking about building children's skills in the locations where they spend time together, using what they may already have around their home through play. The PLAYbook is available in English and Spanish. The digital version allows users to download the document, take notes, use checklists, and engage with interactive tools! Access the communications toolkit to share The PLAYbook! Contact Amanda Culbertson at Amanda.Culbertson@state.co.us with questions.

      Support Transitions to Kindergarten this Fall

      Children and families make the transition to kindergarten every year, however the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic make this fall different. Across Colorado, there was a dramatic drop in kindergarten enrollment in 2020, signaling that many children will be experiencing a delayed start to kindergarten this year. The key to successful transitions is that both “sides” of the transition are engaged—early care and education (ECE) programs (the “sending” side) and elementary schools (the “receiving” side). Given the circumstances, it is especially critical this year that both sides work together to help children and families experience a smooth transition to kindergarten. 

      Two recently developed resources can help in this effort. This brief authored by the Colorado Department of Education describes key policies and research about kindergarten enrollment. This tool developed by the National P-3 Center  provides a timeline and checklist of activities for ECE programs and elementary schools to support transitions.

      In partnership with the National P-3 Center, the Office of Early Childhood and the Preschool through Third Grade Office developed the following briefs exploring practices that contribute to successful transitions to kindergarten for children and families, and strategies ECE programs and elementary schools in Colorado can implement and support:

      This work is responsive to Colorado Shines Brighter strategies 1.2.7 Local ECE Alignment, 1.3.1 Transitions Toolkit & Marketplace, and 1.3.2 Transitions Roadmap.

    • Resources for Local Partners

      Collaboration and Coordination Tools for Local Entities

      The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) is excited to announce the release of two new tools to support local entities in increasing collaboration and coordination in their local birth through five systems to improve outcomes for families.  

      Collaboration & Coordination Tools:

      • Collaboration Guide: Family Resource Centers (FRCs) and Early Childhood Councils (ECCs) (Collaboration Guide): This guide includes an overview of the benefits and modes of collaboration between ECCs and FRCs; strategies to begin collaborating; and a variety of other resources to sustain and deepen collaborative relationships that benefit children and families.  While written for ECCs and FRCs, it has applicability to other local organizations that partner with them.  The Collaboration Guide was developed through a facilitated workgroup including the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance, Family Resource Center Association, ECCs, FRCs and the OEC.
      • Local Early Childhood Systems Coordination Toolkit (Coordination Toolkit): This toolkit was created for local entities - county human/social services or health departments, school districts, ECCs, FRCs, and other non-profits - to spur thought and action around better coordinating their local early childhood system to improve service delivery to families. It includes examples of coordinated systems from around Colorado and tools to help localities plan similar efforts.  

      For more information on the strategies that led to the creation of the Collaboration Guide and Coordination Toolkit, see strategies 1.2.1 and 1.2.4 in the Colorado Shines Brighter Strategic Plan.

      Support Children and Families' Transitions to Kindergarten this Fall 

      Children and families make the transition to kindergarten every year, however the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic make this fall different. Across Colorado, there was a dramatic drop in kindergarten enrollment in 2020, signaling that many children will be experiencing a delayed start to kindergarten this year. The key to successful transitions is that both “sides” of the transition are engaged—early care and education (ECE) programs (the “sending” side) and elementary schools (the “receiving” side). Given the circumstances, it is especially critical this year that both sides work together to help children and families experience a smooth transition to kindergarten. 

      Two recently developed resources can help in this effort. This brief authored by the Colorado Department of Education describes key policies and research about kindergarten enrollment. This tool developed by the National P-3 Center  provides a timeline and checklist of activities for ECE programs and elementary schools to support transitions.

      This work is responsive to Colorado Shines Brighter strategies 1.2.7 Local ECE Alignment, 1.3.1 Transitions Toolkit & Marketplace, and 1.3.2 Transitions Roadmap.

      Assess Community-level Needs for Different Modalities of Early Childhood Mental Health Support

      The Right Mix to Support Social-Emotional Health in Early Childhood, an ECMH guidance document for community-based organizations to use in selecting and strengthening their range of available early childhood social and emotional health supports and resources. The guide helps users to understand their community’s need, identify gaps, and identify which programs, curricula, and training professionals might meet those needs. The guide will be distributed to Early Childhood Councils, Family Resource Centers, Community Centered Boards and Community Mental Health Clinics.

      This resource is responsive to Colorado Shines Brighter Goal 2.

      Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Support Line

      This fall families and providers who may be feeling overwhelmed by the year ahead, or simply want to know more about how to support the children in their care, are able to connect with a live, qualified consultant Monday-Friday (10:30a-5:30p) who can provide brief consultation, create a new referral and/or connect caregivers to additional resources to support children’s developing social, emotional and mental health. This resource was created to increase equitable, statewide access to early childhood mental health information, resources and referrals and is available statewide at no cost. Want to know more? Call the Support Line 303-866-4202 to learn how this new resource can support you in your role! *Transition to toll-free number and designed outreach materials are anticipated in Fall 2021.

      The Educator Well-being Support Line is also available to early care and education providers Monday-Friday 9-7, Saturday 9-11 am; Sunday 4-7 pm (Call or text 303-724-2500).  This line was established by CU’s Department of Psychiatry during the pandemic to create a space for venting, validation, problem solving, and access to therapy. View the flyer or learn more here.

      This work is responsive to Colorado Shines Brighter strategy 2.2.2.
       

      New Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Communication Materials

      The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) is thrilled to release a variety of tools to help communicate the benefits and services provided by Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) ECMH consultants. First, there is the new OEC webpage which allows both families and providers to quickly locate a consultant in their area or sign up for consultation through the online referral. Second, a suite of materials that can be used by consultants to advertise their services in their area including a customizable overview flyer, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and customizable consultant bio were developed (Spanish coming soon!). Finally, the Colorado Shines website features a brief, accessible animated video highlighting the impact of Early Childhood Mental Consultation: Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation – The Results Are Extraordinary (click to view in Spanish). Share these new resources with your network to promote strong, positive mental health in your area today!

      This work is responsive to Colorado Shines Brighter strategy 2.1.3.

      • About Colorado Shines Brighter
        The Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) grants support states in their efforts to analyze the current landscape of their early childhood education mixed delivery system and implement changes to the system that maximize the availability of high-quality early childhood care and education options for low-income and disadvantaged families across providers and partners, improve the quality of care, streamline administrative infrastructure, and improve state-level early childhood care and education funding efficiencies.

        In December 2018, Colorado was awarded a $5.8 million initial PDG B-5 from the US Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the US Department of Education. This funding was made available under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and is targeted to help states build a quality early learning system for children birth to 5 and their families. The initial PDG B-5 project period began December 31, 2018, and ended February 29, 2020. View Colorado's application and revised budget. View the full list of activities from the initial grant period and access project reports HERE.

        In December 2019, Colorado was awarded a PDG B-5 Renewal of $11,171,969 per year for three years (2020-2022). Renewal grant funds will be used to implement activities identified in the Colorado Shines Brighter Strategic Plan to maximize the number of high-quality early care and education options available to families, especially families identified as vulnerable and underserved such as those living in rural areas, families of infants and toddlers, and families of children with special needs. View Colorado's renewal application and revised budget. A summary of grant activities can be found HERE.

        Colorado Shines Brighter (PDG B-5) is based on the state's shared vision to ensure all children are ready for school when entering kindergarten by achieving three outcomes:
        1. Colorado families have access to quality formal early childhood care and education settings of their choosing which best meet the need of their child and family, especially those who are vulnerable and infants and toddlers.
        2. Informal early childhood care and education environments (parental, friend, family, and neighbor care) are enhanced to enrich and support children’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development.
        3. Colorado’s B-5 early childhood state system is coordinated and aligned to enhance the resources available to families and to improve the quality of relationships among families, caregivers, and children.
      • Frequently Asked Questions

        What is the difference between the Colorado Shines Brighter Statewide Strategic Plan and the PDG renewal grant activities?
        The responsibility of caring for Colorado’s youngest children is shared between parents, caregivers, early childhood professionals, program administrators, policymakers, advocates and other stakeholders across public and private organizations and agencies at the state and local levels. The Colorado Shines Brighter Birth through Five Strategic Plan, 2020-2025 was developed in partnership with these stakeholders to support aligned and coordinated efforts to ensure all children are valued, healthy and thriving. The strategic plan is endorsed by the Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC) as the statewide birth through five systems strategic plan. Progress made on the strategic plan will be tracked and communicated by the ECLC.

        The PDG Renewal provides federal funding of up to $11,171,969 per year for three years (2020-2022). The funds will be used to implement activities identified in the strategic plan to maximize the number of high-quality early care and education options available to families, especially families identified as vulnerable and underserved such as those living in rural areas, families of infants and toddlers, and families of children with special needs. 

        How will progress on the PDG Renewal be communicated to the public?
        View outcomes from the initial PDG B-5 here

        You can track the progress made on the PDG Renewal the following ways:

        • Sign up for the monthly Colorado Shines Brighter newsletter.
        • Attend Early Childhood Leadership Commission Program Quality and Alignment (PQA) Subcommittee meetings. PQA Subcommittee meetings are used by the OEC to provide communication on the grant, provide members and the general public an the opportunity to provide feedback and share best practices on grant implementation. Visit the PQA Subcommittee web page for more information, including meeting agendas, minutes, and supporting documents. 

        What does it mean for a child to be ready for school when entering kindergarten?
        School readiness describes both the preparedness of a child to engage in and benefit from learning experiences, and the ability of a school to meet the learning needs of all students. School readiness is enhanced when schools, families, and community service providers work collaboratively to ensure that support exists for higher levels of learning for every child. Colorado embraces the philosophy of “Ready child, ready family, ready community, ready school.”

        What does mixed delivery system mean in the context of the PDG?
        A mixed delivery system is a system of early childhood care and education services that are delivered through a combination of programs, providers, and settings, such as Head Start, licensed family and center-based child care programs, public schools, and other community-based organizations, that is supported by a combination of public and private funds.”
         
        What is the goal for alignment and how will you measure success?
        The PDG B-5 asked states to develop a statewide strategic plan that, among other requirements, “Recommend[s] partnership, collaboration, coordination, and quality improvement activities and opportunities that can leverage existing resources to improve coordination, policy alignment, program quality and service delivery, across early childhood care and education programs in the B-5 Early Childhood State System, including activities to improve children's transition from early childhood care and education programs into elementary schools.”

        The Colorado Shines Brighter Birth through Five Strategic Plan identifies six goals including Goal 1: Colorado’s birth through five early childhood system is coordinated and aligned to enhance resources available to families and to improve the quality of relationships between families and providers. Success will be measured by the extent to which state and local systems partners align and coordinate their services. More detail may be found in the Strategic Plan.

        What enhancements will be made to Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)?
        The Colorado Shines Brighter Birth through Five Strategic Plan identifies several strategies to explore and enhance the state's QRIS framework, policies and provider supports including:
        • 4.1.3 Local Impact Study. Study local Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) and Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) policies for the impact on ECE providers and families, including how new reimbursement rate policies have impacted family participation and access to high-quality ECE programs, and implement indicated changes.
        • 6.1.1 Colorado Shines Updates. Continue to retool the Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for the Environmental Rating Scale 3 (ERS 3) and implement other tools. Support more ratings, including alternative pathways, through an increase in rating assessors. Incorporate stakeholder workgroup findings into the QRIS Framework, including an increased emphasis on cultural and linguistic responsiveness. Complete a validation study in 2022.
        • 6.1.2 Consultative Roles Alignment. Review key consultative roles, including Expanding Quality in Infant Toddler Care (EQIT) Specialist Network, ECMH Consultants, Colorado Shines QRIS Coaches, and Child Care Health Consultants, to ensure coordination and collaboration between roles. Identify qualifications and ongoing professional development supports to ensure individuals are equipped to support quality practices within licensed ECE programs.
        • 6.2.3 Coaching. Pilot a state ECE coaching model including Colorado Shines QRIS and EQIT. Increase staff to meet the needs of known coaching deserts and provide additional meetings and formal supports for coaches. Update courses, transcreate coaching materials, and explore a telehealth approach to coaching. 

        The PDG references quality improvement for licensed and license-exempt care; how will license-exempt care be included in the activities?
        The PDG B-5 emphasizes family choice in the state's mixed-delivery system. The Colorado Shines Brighter: Opportunities for Colorado’s Early Childhood System (Full Report) increased our understanding of families' early care and education preferences. As a result of these findings, the Colorado Shines Brighter Birth through Five Strategic Plan includes strategies to improve the quality two settings:

        • Formal Early Care and Education Environments: Early care and learning settings licensed by the state for the primary purpose of providing regular child care. These include preschools, centers, and homes.
        • Informal Early Care and Education Environments: Care provided in the child or caregiver’s home by a person who is a relative, friend, neighbor, babysitter, or nanny. These settings operate within state guidelines, which allow them to be exempt from regulations. May also be referred   to as Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) care.
        Many of the strategies supporting informal early care and education environments are identified in the Colorado Shines Brighter Birth through Five Strategic Plan under Goal 3 Maximize Family Knowledge and Engagement: Children and families that enter the system through one program are offered meaningful and relevant services throughout the system.

        What is the ROOTs Early Childhood Mental Health Training Program?
        The OEC contracted with Dr. Sarah Watamura to provide Roots events as well as Branches and Seedlings certification opportunities. Dr. Watamura is the co-director of the Stress Early Experience & Development Research Center, associate professor and chair in the Department of Psychology at the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences at the University of Denver. In 2019, Dr. Watamura and her team provided training in the Roots curriculum (an intensive, experiential trauma processing and stress reduction workshop) to ECMHC professionals across Colorado. These participants are now eligible for certification as Branches or Seedling trainers. Certified trainers are able to deliver trauma and stress reduction programs for early care and education teachers (Branches) and parents (Seedlings). The knowledge and skills provided within these trainings will equip ECMHC professionals with tools necessary to partner successfully with child care providers and community members on trauma, adversity and resilience.

        What are the commonly used acronyms involved the PDG work? 
        •    CCCAP – Colorado Child Care Assistance Program
        •    CCR&R – Child Care Resource and Referral
        •    CDE – Colorado Department of Education
        •    CDHS – Colorado Department of Human Services
        •    CHP+ – Child Health Plan Plus
        •    ECC – Early Childhood Councils
        •    ECE – Early Childhood Education
        •    ECLC – Early Childhood Leadership Commission
        •    ECMH– Early Childhood Mental Health 
        •    ECPD – Early Childhood Professional Development Advisory Work Group 
        •    ELDG – Early Learning & Development Guidelines
        •    ERS – Environmental Ratings Scale
        •    FCCH – Family Child Care Homes
        •    FCCRS – Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale
        •    FFN – Family, Friend and Neighbor care
        •    FRC – Family Resource Centers
        •    LAUNCH – Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health
        •    MIECHV – Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting
        •    OEC – Office of Early Childhood
        •    PDG – Preschool Development Grant
        •    PDIS –  Professional Development Information System
        •    PQA – Program, Quality & Alignment Subcommittee
        •    QRIS – Quality Rating and Improvement System
        •    RFA – Request for Application
        •    RFP – Request for Proposal

      Questions? Contact the Preschool Development Grant Unit:

      Office of Early Childhood, CDHS
      1575 Sherman Street, 1st Floor
      Denver, CO 80203
      Phone: 1-800-799-5876 or 303-866-5948
      cdhs_pdg@state.co.us 
      Sign up for the Colorado Shines Brighter newsletter.

      The project described is supported by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initiative (PDG B-5), Grant Number 90TP0054, from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Child Care, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.