Cornerstone 1: Quality Early Care & Education

The Bright Futures Roadmap is a community-wide strategy to support the health and well-being of our community’s youngest children and families. The Roadmap is organized around four cornerstones or key strategies. Partners have begun to identify opportunities for cross-cornerstone collaboration.

CORNERSTONE 1: Families have a variety of high-quality early care and education options that meet their needs, provided through a mixed-delivery system.

This cornerstone has three primary strategies, which you can read more about on this page:

  1. Develop an implementation plan and secure a dedicated public funding stream for universal preschool and other early care and education initiatives.
  2. Recruit, retain, and support a qualified early care and education workforce across child care and preschool settings.
  3. Ensure school-district and community-based enrichment programs and activities (e.g. library reading programs, before- and after-school programs, summer camps, child care, etc.) are accessible to all who want to engage across age continuum of prenatal to eight years old.

Strategy 1

Develop an implementation plan and secure a dedicated public funding stream for universal preschool and other early care and education initiatives.

2023-2024 Partner Activities

  • Healthier Colorado and Open Answer completed a survey of Jeffco families, using grassroots door-knocking methodology, to better understand families’ ECE arrangements and needs. The data will be used to make policy recommendations.
    • OPPORTUNITY: Collaborate with Cornerstones 2 and 3 on policy and funding.
  • UPK implementation through Triad Bright Futures LCO has launched.
    • OPPORTUNITY: Collaborate with Cornerstone 4, strategy 3 on navigation support.

Strategy 2

Recruit, retain, and support a qualified early care and education workforce across child care and preschool settings.

2023-2024 Partner Activities

  • Arvada Chamber’s B.O.L.D. 2026 Initiative is implementing strategies to increase child care capacity as a part of a regional talent pipeline management (TPM) plan, including:
    • Conducting an assessment of child care supply/demand data in Arvada;
    • Partnering with Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC) through the “Design Lab” program to develop on-site or near-site child care centers;
    • Identifying policy and regulatory barriers to expanding child care access;
    • Five businesses are participating in the Family Friendly Workplace Certificate pilot program and have completed their initial assessment.
  • Child Care Innovations at Red Rocks Community College hosts several Initiatives: Apprenticeship Program, Work-based Learning, and CDA support.
  • The new Family Friend & Neighbor (FFN) Hub and State-level Stakeholder Group is underway.
  • Thriving Providers Project (TPP) is providing wage supplements to FFN providers.
  • The TPP survey identified permanent solutions (policies, practices, or resource flows) that could increase the number of FFN caregivers who receive public funding like CCCAP and CACFP.
  • Edgewater Collective Worker Cooperative is supporting FFN business development.
  • Nebula Consulting provides monthly wellness coaching to early childhood coaches, directors, teachers, and family home childcare providers.
  • Healthier Colorado is conducting a survey of child care providers in Jefferson County to understand more about the challenges they face and what additional resources could help support them.

Strategy 3

Ensure school-district and community-based enrichment programs and activities (e.g. library reading programs, before- and after-school programs, summer camps, child care, etc.) are accessible to all who want to engage across the age continuum of prenatal to eight years old.

2023-2024 Partner Activities

  • Jeffco Libraries hosts ongoing events and outreach for families with young children.
    • OPPORTUNITY: Connect with Home Visitation and Mental Health Consultation on increasing public awareness.
  • Edgewater Collective offers summer and after-school enrichment programs.