Sept 2020 - Aug 2021
Challenge Matching, Workforce Organizing
Daniels Fund, Alliance for Early Success
Denver, Denver County, Colorado, United States
To help people step into their power through leadership, training, grassroots organizing and by creating safe spaces for people to learn and grow.
Raise Colorado Coalition, Early Childhood Workforce Policy Coalition, Early Childhood Summit, Equity in Early Childhood Coalition, Denver Affiliate of the National Black Child Development Institute, the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, and the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition.
The purpose of the grant is to engage and elevate the voices of the child care workforce in setting priorities and identifying solutions to improve compensation, recruitment and retention in Colorado.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado Children’s Campaign (CCC) was part of a coalition effort to build momentum on workforce issues, and to identify new funding sources for expansion of preschool. In May of 2020, the legislature reconvened to reckon with the reduction of state revenues related to the contracting economy.
On the last day of the 2020 session, the Colorado General Assembly referred a measure to the ballot that, if approved by voters in November, would raise taxes on tobacco and institute a tax on nicotine vaping products and begin to generate revenue for preschool in 2023. If passed, it would support 10 hours of week of free preschool for four year olds and the potential for more intense supports for children in low-income families.
Despite some important backstops in the referred measure regarding support for the early care and education workforce and allowed and required uses of the revenue, the details of how the new revenue will be allocated requires the engagement of early care and education providers, teachers, and community members in developing enacting legislation.
The RCCF grant will be used to grow child care workforce leaders and build partnerships with groups representing children of color and sectors of the workforce facing growing inequities in part due to the pandemic. CCC will continue to pursue short-term goals to address immediate concerns as well promote a broader and inclusive vision for rebuilding the entire early childhood system. This will include public will and movement building to ensure the early care and education sector is viewed as a core part of a rebuilt economy and more equitable society.
Selected Action Steps Related to RCCF Goals
Lift parent, child care teacher, home-based child care provider, caregiver and ally voices and increase their participation in crafting policy solutions in states and/or communities.
- Engage early childhood professionals in developing policy priorities for 2021 to address the compensation, recruitment and retention of the ECE workforce
- Create advocacy opportunities for ECE educators to advocate for policy changes and public investments to improve conditions of the ECE workforce.
- Engage parents, ECE educators and providers in providing input into the design of Colorado’s state-funded preschool program.
Build effective coordination among RCCF grantees and advocacy groups, community groups, parents, child care teachers, home-based child care providers, caregivers, and allies.
- Leverage existing coalitions to coordinate efforts to elevate the importance of investments in the ECE workforce.
- Expand opportunities for participants in the Infant and Toddler Child Care Taskforce of Raise Colorado to educate policymakers on need for investments in the ECE workforce.
- Integrate early educators and providers through intentional outreach to be part of advocacy and coalition work at the state and local levels.
Expand financial resources to secure increased and equitable access to quality child care, including through intentional strategies to reach and prioritize children and families most affected by injustice and inequity.
- Advocate for public policies and investments in Colorado that secure increased and equitable access to quality child care.
- Develop and vet ideas for change with members of the ECE workforce and community-based groups to advance investments related to the early care and education workforce.
- Use equity-centered messaging to educate policymakers about needed policy changes and investments related to the early care and education workforce, child care investment, and state funded preschool.
Updated November 20, 2020