Colorado Essentials for Childhood is a partnership of stakeholders who are committed to a future where children and families thrive in the places where they live, learn, work and play. Our ultimate goal is to prevent and reduce child abuse and neglect in our state.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Top 5 in Early Childhood From 2015

The needs of our nation's littlest learners have garnered increasing attention in 2015. Although early learning still takes a back seat to K-12 education and higher education in national policy debates, state and national politicians are incorporating calls for early childhood investments into their stump speeches, philanthropic funders are targeting resources to early learning and, according to a new First Five Years Fund poll, average Americans increasingly recognize the importance of early learning for children's long-term success.
Here are some of the early childhood stories that captured attention in 2015 – and what they might mean for the year ahead:
1. Expansion of full-day, universal pre-K in New York City. 
Sure, Mayor de Blasio wrestled Gov. Cuomo for $300 million to expand pre-K back in 2014, and the first full-day slots funded with that money opened later that year. But 2015 was the year the rubber hit the road on universal, full-day pre-K in New York City, with nearly 70,000 4-year-olds enrolled in the city's school- and community-based publicly funded preschools this year.
To put things in context, NYC's universal pre-K serves more children than state-funded pre-K programs in all but six states and exceeds the total enrollment of all but the nation's 51 largest school districts. In other words, NYC's pre-K expansion represents an unprecedented effort to rapidly scale up quality preschool, one that will be closely watched for years to come. Whether NYC's universal pre-K succeeds in boosting outcomes for children – particularly disadvantaged students – will have significant implications for the future of preschool expansion nationally. And whatever the outcome, NYC's experience in rapidly scaling preschool offers lessons for policymakers in other cities and states nationally.
[READ: Pre-K for All]

Monday, December 14, 2015

Parents and the high Cost of Child Care

Child Care Aware® of America’s 2015 report, Parents and the High Cost of Child Care, summarizes the cost of child care across the country, examines the importance of child care as a workforce support and as an early learning program, and explores the effect of high costs on families’ child care options.

This year’s report continues to expose child care as one of the most significant expenses in a family budget, often exceeding the cost of housing, college tuition, transportation or food.

Colorado costs compared to other states can be found on page 27 of the report and you can find a new interactive map that presents child care costs compared to household income here:

Download the report and find child care resources, including an interactive cost map by state, and data highlights for five key urban counties around the country at

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Read Mark Zuckerberg's letter to his newborn daughter

In a note to their newly born daughter, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan Pledged 99% of their Facebook shares to philanthropies that support connection people and building strong communities.

Read the full text of the letter below.

Dear Max,

Your mother and I don't yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You've already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in.

Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today.

While headlines often focus on what's wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today.

We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.

We believe all lives have equal value, and that includes the many more people who will live in future generations than live today. Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here.

But right now, we don't always collectively direct our resources at the biggest opportunities and problems your generation will face.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Frames Training on December 10th

As part of our efforts to implement systems changes to improve the wellbeing of Colorado’s children, the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership has enlisted the FrameWorks Institute to support community engagement through strategic communications. Join Moira O’Neil, Director of Research Interpretation at FrameWorks Institute, to learn about FrameWorks’ body of research on framing early childhood development, early adversity and resilience, and the implications of the research for a shared reframing strategy.

Join us as FrameWorks supports us in an interactive and hands-on workshop on these shared frames.

These frames will inform the Colorado-specific messages which emerge from the ongoing Shared Messaging for Early Adversity and Toxic Stress effort.

December 10, 2015 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Clayton Early Learning | 3801 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Denver, Admin. Building
Cost: $35 per person

Register for the Frames Training Here

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Raising of America Airs Thursday Night!

Tune in to your local Rocky Mountain PBS Station November 5, 2015 at 9 p.m.

Watch: The Signature Episode of The Raising of America documentary series

Learn how the growing squeeze on families for time, money and resources can literally alter young children’s developing brains. What are the consequences for Colorado, and how can we better assure a strong start for all our children?

An invitation to help build a better Colorado

A broad collection of Colorado leaders have come together under the leadership of former DU Chancellor Dan Ritchie to explore ideas for "Building a Better Colorado." These include improving the state's fiscal situation as well as the initiative and election processes.
We were pleased to be asked to participate and help frame the fiscal discussion. Now you have a chance to participate, and we encourage you to do so online at or by attending one of the summits in the metro area. RSVP wherever is most convenient!
Here's what the folks at Building a Better Colorado say:

Colorado is a state with remarkable people who have done remarkable things. We can be pleased by our historic leadership in so many areas, but today, our state faces some real challenges, including:
  • The ease with which our constitution can be amended.
  • Decreasing citizen confidence and involvement in the election process.
  • The imbalance between citizens' expectations of the services which their state government provides and the ability of their government to meet those expectations.
A growing and diverse coalition of concerned citizens, including Republicans, Democrats and independents, is coming together under the banner "Building a Better Colorado" with the shared belief that Colorado can be better.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

CREATING LOCAL DEDICATED FUNDS FOR CHILDREN & YOUTH: How will we fund services for the next generation?

December 4, 2015 8:00 am-4:00 pm Washington D.C. (Location TBD)


  • Margaret Brodkin, mother of the San Francisco Children and Youth Fund, the country’s largest and one of the first dedicated funds – founder and director of Funding the Next Generation 
  • Elizabeth Gaines, senior fellow at the Forum for Youth Investment, and a lifetime children’s budget analyst and advocate, and policy coordination expert

This first ever National Institute is for teams from cities and counties who want to learn more about how to create local public dedicated funding streams. Participants may include children’s advocates, elected officials, system and coalition leaders and foundations. This will be a hands-on, how-to convening. We are limiting registration to 20 communities, with teams of 2-3 people.

The Institute will cover topics ranging from:
• Benefits of local funds for children, youth and families
• Successful funds in diverse communities
• Public revenue sources for dedicated funds
• Steps and strategies in passing a local funding measure
• Using the electoral process to fund children’s services
• Assessing the level of readiness in your community
• Next steps you could take

Submit a team interest form at:

Have a question? Email Elizabeth Gaines Sponsored by: Is your city or county ready to create a dedicated public fund for children and youth?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Taxpayers and businesses that make a qualified monetary contribution can claim a CO income tax credit for 50%

The Colorado Child Care Contribution Tax Credit (CCTC) is a valuable resource for qualified child care providers with thousands of individuals taking advantage of the opportunity to support early childhood and receive a financial incentive. CCTC enables individual and business taxpayers that make a monetary contribution to promote child care and early education in Colorado to claim a state income tax credit of 50% of the total qualifying contribution. The credit was established in 1999 and is authorized by state statute through tax year 2019. However, CCTC was not fully available 2011 through 2014 due to a legislative “trigger” that was placed on the credit.

Effective January 1, 2015, the tax credit was fully restored. Nevertheless, the effects of the legislative “trigger” created a loss of millions of dollars to the early childhood provider community during the tax years 2011-2014. In an effort to re-introduce the Colorado public to its existence, as well as the importance, of CCTC, Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC) has agreed to facilitate a coalition (the “Coalition”) of business, community and government leaders with the goal to bring taxpayer contributions back to pre-recession levels.

Learn more here:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Colorado Essentials in now on Twitter!

Colorado Essentials

You can follow @COEssentials by clicking here.  Don't forget to tag @COEssentials in all your posts that help to promote safe, stable and nurturing families and communities. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Do you think work flexibility is a good idea? Me too! Join me in supporting 1 Million for Work Flexibility to help make a positive change. Check it out!
Join 1 Million for Work Flexibility Today

Visit us at

1 Million for Work Flexibility is the first national initiative to bring people together and create a collective voice in support of work flexibility.

Click here to find out more

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Webinar: Making Flexibility Work, Hosted by Catalyst

This month, 1MFWF celebrates our second anniversary, and today also marks the first day of National Work & Family Month. Among the many activities we have planned to celebrate these occasions is a free webinar with 1MFWF Founder Sara Sutton Fell and Director Emma Plumb, hosted by 1MFWF Supporter Catalyst. Please join us!

Webinar: Making Flexibility WorkDate: Thursday, October 15
Time: 2:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. ET
Panelists: Sara Sutton Fell, Emma Plumb, Amelia Costigan

At 1MFWF, we know that the advantages of flexibility are clear for both employees and employers. Business benefits include cost savings, reduced carbon footprint, disaster preparedness, and higher productivity. Employee benefits include lower stress, higher morale, and effective work/life integration. And yet, too many organizations are still reluctant to embrace this better way to work.

Are you a manager who’s still unsure about whether flexibility is right for you and your company? Are you an employee looking to flex, but not sure you’ll have support from your employer? It’s time to ask: why aren’t you flexing?

Join Sara Sutton Fell, Founder of 1 Million for Work Flexibility, Emma Plumb, Director of 1 Million for Work Flexibility, and Amelia Costigan, Senior Associate at Catalyst, to learn practical tips for making flex work for you as an employer or employee.

Register Now for this FREE webinar!

About Sara Sutton Fell
Sara Sutton Fell is the CEO and Founder of FlexJobs, an award-winning, innovative career website for telecommuting, flexible, freelance, and part-time jobs, and founder ofRe

Monday, October 5, 2015

LAUNCH Together Funding Opportunity

LAUNCH Together is inspired and informed by SAMHSA’s Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) initiative and Colorado Project LAUNCH (COPL) partners. LAUNCH Together is inviting applications from Colorado communities interested in expanding evidence-based prevention and promotion practices and building coordinated systems to support the wellness of children prenatal through age 8 with a focus on behavioral health and social and emotional development.

LAUNCH Together aims to 1) invest in communities to plan and implement effective community-based strategies and train professionals in a variety of settings; 2) bring together public and private partners to communicate what works, raise awareness and support policy changes to sustain effective community practices; and 3) evaluate the project and provide technical assistance to grantees.

Grants awarded through this funding opportunity will support communities in conducting a comprehensive planning process, including an environmental scan of systems and programs in the grantee’s community as well as development of a strategic plan to guide the work.

Due Date for Applications:
October 19, 2015, 5:00 p.m. MDT
Estimated Number of Awards:
Up to 7
Estimated Award Amount:
Up to $55,000 per award

Get more information about this funding opportunity by visiting, or by contacting project staff:
· Morgan Janke, LAUNCH Together Project Director –
· Molly Yost, LAUNCH Together TA & Policy Manager –

Friday, October 2, 2015

Childhood Experiences: Our stories shape our lives

Digital Storytelling Workshop: YOUR PICTURES, YOUR VOICE,YOUR STORY

This is a very unique, free workshop to encourage those who are passionate about preventing childhood adversities to tell their stories or share their knowledge through digital storytelling. Digital storytelling is a powerful way to share information with others in a more personal way—through the stories that influence our lives.

Participants will be joined by others from across the Denver Metro area. Participants might be parents (clients?), service providers, pediatricians, members of the community, employers, policy-makers, or others…it might even be you! Think of individuals you know who care greatly about families and young children and have a story to share. Participants will receive a copy of their video, as well as a $50 gift card. Videos will be used to advocate for prevention of childhood adversities.

All logistical details and contact information are included on the flyer. Please consider sharing this opportunity with at least one person who may have come to mind.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Back to School: Who is caring for your young children?

It’s back to school time! Those words usually invoke thoughts of children who attend kindergarten through 12th grade—but it also applies to many of the 11 million children enrolled in child care or preschool every day.

As families drop off their children for these important early learning experiences, many are unaware that only about 30 percent of children nationwide are enrolled in a high quality program. Well qualified staff is at the top of the list of the specific research-based factors that ensure safe, nurturing, and stimulating environments for young children.

Still, too many people think that working with young children is a job that almost anyone can do. Teaching numbers and letters, or reading storybooks—what could be easier than that?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Governor Hickenlooper and the Early Childhood Leadership Commission release the newly updated Early Childhood Colorado Framework

Thanks to the dedication of hundreds of early childhood stakeholders across the state, we have an updated roadmap, the Early Childhood Colorado Framework (Framework), to continue to build on our successes and achieve an integrated and comprehensive early childhood system – across early learning and development, family support, and health and well-being. 

Early childhood partners across Colorado used the 2008 Framework to support organizational efforts and build alignment across the state, and the updated Framework builds upon this success.

Not one individual, organization, or agency can do it all, but together our collective work at the state level, in local communities, and through public-private partnerships will help us ensure all young children in Colorado are valued, healthy and thriving.

Join us for a Lunch & Learn webinar to discuss the updated Framework!

Early Childhood Leadership Commission Manager, Sheryl Shushan, will provide an overview of the updated Framework to prepare the Partnership for action at the in-person Partnership meeting on October 26. So grab your lunch and join the discussion!

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. via webinar


Monday, September 14, 2015

Launch of Stand With Women and Families

The "Stand With Women and Families" has launched. This long-term effort is dedicated to fighting against limits that stand in the way of the health and dignity of Coloradans, but also to pushing for forwarding thinking policies that will truly meet the needs of women and families. This is particularly important to women of color who are disparately impacted by barriers to reproductive and economic justice.

COLOR, 9to5 Colorado and ProgressNow Colorado joined Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Senator Andy Kerr and Council Member Maria De Cambra to launch the state-wide campaign "Stand With Women and Families or Stand in the Way."

Maria Empanada, a small business on South Broadway and famed by its score of delicious Argentinian cuisine, served as the host. Lorena Cantarovici, as a small business owner, a Latina, a woman and an immigrant applauds champion elected officials who stand with women and families to support freedom, family values, fairness and opportunity.

ICYMI: Check out our Storify covering the #StandWithWomen trail on Twitter. Watch the video here from the launch. Read the statementreleased today, and the coverage from The Denver Post.

There is no reproductive justice without economic justice, and more equitable, non-discriminatory labor policies, living wages, paid sick leave and forward thinking policies are needed in Colorado. Your voice counts! Show decision makers that Coloradans want to see action to meet the needs of Coloradans. Please, speak out and sign the pledge TODAY!

Monday, September 7, 2015

With Health and Justice for All

Many things in a student’s life can affect his or her ability to learn and graduate. For example, some children and teens are confronted with unmanaged chronic ailments, or violence, and don’t feel safe at school or in their communities. Even the best teachers and schools cannot compensate for illness, fear or distress. School-based health centers have the capacity to benefit all students in a school by addressing many of these barriers to learning.

APHA works with partners and members on the health and social factors that influence educational success and decrease school dropout. A core focus of this work is expanding the impact of school-based health care as a means to improve educational success and prevent high school dropout.

To read more about the expanded role for school-based health centers, visit the Center for School, Health and Education website.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Fiscal Year 2015: Colorado Child Fatality Prevention System Annual Legislative Report

The report includes a summary of child fatality review findings and data, updates about CFPS prevention activities, highlights of the CFPS program, and the prevention recommendations prioritized by the CFPS State Review Team. The following recommendations were prioritized:
  1. Mandate the use of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation Reporting Form (SUIDIRF) for law enforcement agencies and coroner offices during infant death scene investigations.
  2. Mandate that hospitals develop and implement policies to provide education and information about infant safe sleep promotion and to require the practice and modeling of safe sleep behaviors in labor/delivery and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) hospital settings. 
  3. Modify Colorado Department of Human Services’ rules regulating family foster care homes to better align with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) infant safe sleep recommendations, including training for foster families regarding infant safe sleep.
  4. Establish a statutory requirement that allows for primary enforcement of Colorado’s adult seat belt law, making it possible to stop a driver and issue a citation if anyone (the driver and all passengers in all seating positions) in the vehicle is not properly restrained.
  5. Increase funding for the Office of Suicide Prevention to implement the following activities: 1) expand the Gun Shop Project to more counties in Colorado; 2) expand the implementation and evaluation of Emergency Department-Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (ED-CALM) training statewide; and 3) expand implementation and evaluation of school-based suicide prevention programs statewide that promote resilience and positive youth development as protective factors from suicide.
  6. Support policies that impact the priorities of the Colorado Essentials for Childhood project: 1) increase family-friendly business practices across Colorado; 2) increase access to child care and after school care; 3) increase access to preschool and full-day kindergarten; and 4) improve social and emotional health of mothers, fathers, caregivers and children.
  7. Provide funding for the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention to promote uptake of the Quad-Regulator Policy for Prescribing and Dispensing Opioids through increased training and education of prescribers.
  8. Increase funding to Child Fatality Prevention System to support the implementation and evaluation of youth programs that promote pro-social activities, resilience and positive youth development as protective factors from child fatalities statewide.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Kaiser Permanente Notice of Request for Proposals on Food Insecurity

Kaiser Permanente is excited to announce the release of a request for proposals (RFP) to decrease food insecurity. Kaiser Permanente is investing up to $1,000,000 over two (2) years with awards up to $100,000 per organization. Food insecurity refers to the degree to which food intake is reduced or normal eating patterns disrupted because of lack of money and other resources.  

The outcomes of this funding opportunity are:

•        Increase enrollment in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
•        Increase participation in the Summer Food Service Program

Organizations may submit proposals that focus on one or both of these outcomes by implementing best practices.

Eligible organizations must be a 501c(3) with an annual operating budget of $1.5 million or less or a Colorado health care Safety Net organization with an operating budget of any size. To be considered for funding, organizations must also meet specific eligibility criteria outlined in the RFP.

Organizations interested in applying for funding should review our frequently asked questions and read the RFP in its entirety. The funding opportunity is currently released on the open funding opportunities page of our website ( We will be conducting two webinars that organizations can register for to learn more about the RFP and ask questions. If there are questions after the webinar, please direct them

Applications are due October 30, 2015 and the grant period will be March 1, 2016-March 1, 2018

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Emerging Prevention Transformations


Emerging Prevention Transformations

September 9, 2015 | 2:30-3:30 pm | Anschutz MEdical Campus, University of Colorado Skaggs school of Pharmacy (v20) room 1000

Larry Cohen mainSheilaProfilePic2Sheila Savannah, MA, Program Director
Larry Cohen, MSW, Founder and Executive Director
Oakland, California

Recent years have brought great promise for prevention, providing the opportunity for interdisciplinary, comprehensive approaches to keep everyone healthy and safe in the first place. Join Prevention Institute’s Founder & Executive Director Larry Cohen and Program Director Sheila Savannah for a discussion on emerging prevention transformations, with a focus on public health’s role in advancing health equity, community resilience, and health system transformation. This is a time of great opportunity to move our focus from sick-care to health; from attention to the individual to community-level solutions; from trauma to resilience; and from public health as practitioner to public health as facilitator and catalyst of change.Prevention Institute (based in Oakland, California) is a national nonprofit that helps shape the way that we think about health: improving community conditions, reducing inequities, and taking action to prevent illness, injury and violence before they occur. Larry and Sheila work with communities, policymakers, and philanthropy to advance a deeper understanding of how community factors influence health, safety and equity.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Study on the Changing Needs of American Working Families

Recent demographic trends, economic conditions and technological advances are having profound influences on how American families live and how we think about work and careers. Cultural norms are rapidly shifting, roles are changing within families, relationships and involvement with our communities and with others are disappearing while the number of virtual connections to others has skyrocketed. Furthermore, our technology tools are not only changing the way we work but are actually changing the way our brains work. The speed of this social change is unprecedented in modern American culture and we expect these changes to continue at an even faster pace in the future. Although each family is adapting to changing realities, we are largely unaware of the extent of the transitions underway and the implications for family life and the future workforce. 

The current research sought to understand how these workplace changes, population trends, cultural factors, economic conditions and technology influence families and how US workers are adapting and responding. How are families adapting to social changes, what are the impacts of technology on daily life and are families developing practical solutions to respond to increasing uncertainty and pressures of time and resources? What do American families care about most and how can we help them shape their futures to achieve it? 

To address these questions, WFD Consulting conducted a national survey with a sample of 1100 working adults and 16 focus groups in 6 cities around the country with working adults from diverse backgrounds in terms of race and ethnicity, income, lifestage and household type.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Funding opportunity for LAUNCH Together Phase I Planning Grants

Applications are currently being accepted for LAUNCH Together Phase I Planning Grants. Inspired by the SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) initiative, the purpose of LAUNCH Together is to expand effective practices into Colorado communities to further support the wellness of children prenatal through age 8 (with an emphasis on prenatal through Kindergarten) by addressing the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and behavioral aspects of their development. LAUNCH Together is  new opportunity to support Colorado communities in advancing children’s social and emotional health.

LAUNCH Together aims to 
  • Invest in communities to plan and implement effective community-based strategies and train professionals in a variety of settings; 
  • Bring together public and private partners to communicate what works, raise awareness and support policy changes to sustain effective community practices; 
  • Evaluate the project and provide technical assistance to grantees.
Grants awarded through this funding opportunity will support communities in conducting a comprehensive planning process, including an environmental scan of systems and programs in the grantee’s community as well as development of a strategic plan to guide the work.

Click here to see the RFA.

Due Date for Applications:
October 19, 2015, 5:00 p.m. MDT

Estimated Number of Awards:
Up to 7

Estimated Award Amount:
Up to $55,000 per award

Friday, August 21, 2015

Essentials for Childhood Collective Impact Team Event - Day 2

If you can't join us in person for today's meeting join us by webinar.  Click here from 9 am to 12 pm on Friday August 21 to watch the presentation on the Colorado Children's Campaign and to participate in the policy workshop.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Essentials for Childhood Collective Impact Team Event

Tomorrow's Essentials for Childhood Collective Impact Team Event will begin promptly at 9 AM on Thursday, August 20th and again at 9 AM to 12 PM on Friday, August 21st at the Lowry Conference Center.

Be sure to show up a little early to register and have a bite to eat! 

Also, we will broadcast this event via webinar and will send out a recorded version after the event for those of you who were not able to attend. Click here tomorrow at 9 AM to join by webinar.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Speaker needed for ROI on Family-Friendly Business Practices

The Colorado Essentials for Childhood Project is in search of a speaker for an event on August 20th in Denver, Colorado to present on the advantages of family-friendly business practices and the concept of return on investment as it is related to the establishment of these types of policies in the workplace.  Anyone who has any leads please contact Giorgianna Venetis at