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.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Family Friendly Assessment and Toolkit

The Family-Friendly Assessment (FF+) launched on June 29, 2016. Many of you and your have already received scores and a corresponding family-friendly designation. We encourage all of you to visit: to fill out the assessment and please share with others that may be interested.

One of our goals is for FF+ to be a recognized designation throughout Colorado. A designation that employers want to attain, that encourages friendly competition to support employees in all stages of life.

We are currently looking for funding to build the infrastructure required to properly launch FF+. We would be thrilled if you / your organization would consider being an initial FF+ underwriter. Please contact David Shapiro to discuss this opportunity.

Additionally, the Family-Friendly Workplace Toolkit was released this summer. You can view and download the Toolkit at We continue to promote this resource throughout Colorado and plan to update it bi-annually. Feel free to share this well-researched asset broadly among your networks.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Supporting Family-Friendly Employers in Colorado

Employers play a critical role in the lives of their employees, after all, the average person in the United Sates spends 8.9 hours a day at work in comparison to 1.2 hours they spend caring for others.[1] Employees, in every stage of life, should feel supported in the workplace. It is for that reason that partners in Colorado are teaming up to better understand family-friendly workplace policies and practices.

EPIC (Executives Partnering to Invest in Children), Essentials for Childhood (EfC) and Health Links have formed a strategic alliance to lead Colorado’s conversation about family-friendly employers. In June 2016, this alliance launched two initiatives to understand and strengthen family-friendly employment practices:
  • The Family-Friendly Workplace Toolkit highlights best practices and the components of a family-friendly workplace. We will continue to update the toolkit with relevant examples of corporate best practices as more and more employers are adding family-friendly policies.
  • The Family-Friendly Workplace Assessment assists employers to assess and evaluate their culture and benefits. Businesses of any size can benefit from utilizing the assessment. Upon completion, organizations receive a family-friendly score (FF+) and are directed to resources and coaching.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

EPIC 2016 - Colorado Child Care Contribution Tax Credit from Enchanted Road Productions on Vimeo.

A Unique Opportunity - A Valuable Resource

Individuals and business taxpayers may make a monetary contribution to qualified child care and early education programs in Colorado and claim a state income tax credit of 50% of the total qualifying contribution. The money goes directly to qualified child care providers and can be used to enhance programs, purchase equipment and facilities, staff training, financial assistance for child care and referral services.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Building a Culture of Collaboration

First Pre-Summit Webinar

The Civic Canopy is hosting a series of learning events prior to the Collective Impact Summit. At the first Summit Learner Event, attendees learned and shared excitement about collaborative work happening at The Civic Canopy and in the broader Denver community, as well as were introduced to the Canopy community learning model.

Tash Mitchell, a resident of NE Denver and an active leader in collective work was our featured speaker who discussed the Collaborative Learning Model and it's application.

Click here to view the presentation

Karen Pittman Joins the 2016 Collective Impact Summit!
Karen Pittman is known for inspiring transformative change for individuals, communities, and systems. At the Summit, she will challenge participants to consider what it really takes to achieve and measure meaningful impact. Checkout our website for more on Ms. Pittman and other speakers!

Save the Date for the Next Event: September 22!
Location and topic to be determined. Stay tuned by watching your email, checking out the website, and following us on Twitter and Facebook!

Have ideas for what you want to see at the Summit? Post your thoughts here!

Don't Forget About Scholarships!

The Summit has a limited amount of scholarships available. Please considerapplying for one as an individual, as a team or share with someone who might benefit!

Please see the Sponsorship Guide or contact to become a 2016 Canopy Summit sponsor.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Let's raise the wage, Colorado!

Today we join partners throughout the state to announce a new campaign that will improve the lives of Colorado families.

When: Wednesday, May 18, 12 pm
Where: Vine Street Pub, 1700 Vine St, Denver, CO 80206

Our state’s minimum wage is just $8.31 per hour. The cost of living in Colorado is going up drastically, and the minimum wage hasn’t nearly kept up. Thousands of hardworking Coloradans are struggling to make ends meet.

That’s why we’re launching Colorado Families for a Fair Wage. Join us today at the Vine Street Pub in Denver to send a clear message that the time to raise the wage is now!

If you can't be there in person, follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation.

Colorado Families for a Fair Wage is a coalition of small business owners, community partners, working families and faith organizations coming together to create an economy that works for all Coloradans.

Our campaign is about the people of Colorado. It's about helping single parents raising children, seniors who can't afford to retire and aspiring students who want to pay for an education.

It's about creating a level playing field for small businesses, boosting the state economy and putting more money in the pockets of people who will spend it here in our state.

Help us raise Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020. It’s sound economic policy and the smart and fair thing to do.

New CDC Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Infographic

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Monday, May 2, 2016

CDC releases technical package to help states and communities prioritize strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect

Today, the CDC released Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect: A Technical Package for Policy, Norm, and Programmatic Activities. A technical package is a collection of strategies that represent the best available evidence to prevent or reduce public health problems like violence. The package supports CDC’s Essentials for Childhood framework and highlights 5 strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect:
  • Strengthen economic supports for families
  • Change social norms to support parents and positive parenting
  • Provide quality care and education early in life
  • Enhance parenting skills to promote healthy child development
  • Intervene to lessen harms and prevent future risk
The strategies in this package include those with a focus on preventing child abuse and neglect from happening in the first place, as well as approaches to lessen the immediate and long-term harms of child abuse and neglect. Strategies are intended to work in combination and reinforce each other. The technical package describes the approaches to advance each strategy and the evidence behind them.
The technical package is intended as a resource to guide and inform prevention decision making in communities and states, so that every child has safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments, in a world where every child can thrive.
Learn More

Friday, March 25, 2016

Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Adult Health in Colorado

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic or stressful experiences, such as abuse, which occur during childhood or adolescence. Existing research shows that these negative early life experiences have long-lasting effects on an individual’s well-being. However, the burden of these experiences among Colorado adults was previously unknown.

ACEs are common among adult Coloradans, with 61.7% being exposed to at least one type of ACE . More than one-third of adults have a history of multiple types of ACE. Nearly 15 percent of adults experienced four or more ACEs, and some adults have a history of all eight types (0.4%). Parental divorce/separation, emotional abuse, and having a substance-abusing household member were each cited by more than a quarter of adults (Figure 2). Physical abuse (18.9%), living with someone who had a mental illness (17.0%), and domestic violence (16.4%) were also common experiences. One in every ten adults were sexually abused before age 18, and the prevalence was three times higher among females. Six percent of Coloradans had a household member who spent time in prison.

See Health Watch for more information on this study.

Monday, March 14, 2016

STUDY: Health Care, Family, and Community Factors Associated with Mental, Behavioral, and Developmental Disorders in Early Childhood — United States, 2011–2012

What is already known about this topic?

Sociodemographic factors and environmental influences in early childhood have been demonstrated to have significant impact on development, mental health, and overall health throughout the lifespan.

What is added by this report?

This report provides recent national data documenting significant associations of early childhood mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders (MBDDs) with sociodemographic, health care, family, and community factors. There was substantial variation in state estimates of these factors and early childhood MBDDs. The factors most strongly associated with MBDDs were fair or poor parental mental health, difficulty getting by on the family’s income, child care problems (among parents of children aged 2–3 years), and lacking a medical home.

What are the implications for public health practice?

These data support the Institute of Medicine recommendation that resources directed toward improving health care and supporting families and communities are needed to promote healthy development among all young children. Collaborative, multidisciplinary strategies including public health and pediatric clinical partners might have the greatest impact given the broad types of factors associated with early childhood MBDDs and the large number of agencies working to support optimal child development.

See the study here.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Help kick-off a month of awareness events and prevention activities throughout Colorado!

Get involved with raising awareness around April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, by utilizing the Prevention Toolkit created for community partners that includes posters and flyers around a cohesive theme of, 'Colorado Children, Our Most Precious Resource.'

Also included in the toolkit you can find sample letter to the editors, sample press releases, sample event planning guidelines and more!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Abuse, Poverty in Childhood Linked to Adult Health Problems

Childhood abuse and poverty may raise the risk of health problems in adulthood, a new study suggests.

"Childhood disadvantage has long-term health consequences -- much longer than most of us realize," said study author Kenneth Ferraro, a professor and interim head of sociology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

"A novel aspect of this study is that childhood disadvantage was linked to the onset of new health problems decades later," he said in a university news release.

The researchers examined data from more than 1,700 adults who were surveyed in 1996 when they were between the ages of 25 and 74, and again in 2006 when they were aged 35 to 84.

"Health problems and quality-of-life issues were a concern during the first wave of the study," said Ferraro, director of Purdue's Center on Aging and the Life Course.

"However, when we revisited the study's adult participants 10 years later, childhood poverty and frequent abuse were related to the onset of new health problems, such as cancer and heart disease, even after we adjusted for risk factors including health lifestyle and socioeconomic status," he said.

The researchers only found an association, rather than a cause-and-effect link. Still, they said family composition during childhood -- such as if both parents were in the home -- appeared to play a role in health when the study participants were adults, but not to the same degree as poverty and physical or verbal abuse.

It's "possible we have underrepresented the relationship between childhood disadvantage and later life health problems because those most severely affected were not able to participate in a social survey," Ferraro said.

"But, now that we have identified some of the early origins of adult disease, we should focus on greater resources, even during midlife, to break the chain of risks," he said.

The study was published in the February issue of the journal American Sociological Review.

The Children's Defense Fund has more about child poverty

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

2016 Mini-Grant Kickoff!

Today we are kicking off the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership 2016 Mini-Grant funding opportunity. The 2016 mini-grant effort will award up to $1,000 to qualified organizations whose work in Colorado aligns with the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership’s 2016 priority areas:

In April 2016, the Partnership will award mini-grants through an open, competitive process to eligible organizations headquartered in Colorado. The focus of this funding opportunity is to support activities supporting child and family well-being in Colorado.
Proposals are due Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Click here to see the 2016 Mini-Grant RFP
The Partnership kicked off the mini-grant application process today with a webinar overview of the funding opportunity. This webinar was recorded, and you can find thePowerPoint slides here.

We look forward to seeing a diverse set of applications! Please don't hesitate to contact The Partnership with questions at

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Denver Human Services is offering grant awards to community organizations supporting Child Abuse Prevention Month

Denver Human Services is excited to announce their 2nd annual mini-grant opportunity for Child Abuse Prevention Month!

Denver Human Services is offering grant awards of $1,500 and $750 to community organizations hosting activities in support of Child Abuse Prevention Month. New applicants will be considered for 10 $1,500 awards and previous recipients of Child Abuse Prevention Month grant funds can apply for 13 awards of $750. Denver Human Services will award funds through a competitive process based on applicants proposed use of the funds in the interest of children in the Mile High City and in the department’s efforts to promote Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Please help us spread the word and increase our community partnerships!

The application deadline is Friday, February 26th by 5 p.m.

If you have any questions about the application please contact me or (720) 944-6296.

Application Documents
2016 Child Abuse Prevention Month Mini Grant Application
2016 Child Abuse Prevention Month Mini Grant Announcement Letter

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Check out all these great resources for employers!

Comment below to add any family-friendly employer resources

Families and Work Institute
Six criteria of effective workplaces with benefits to both employees and organizations

Families and Work Institute with Society for Human Resource Management, 2014
Data and trends in employer programs, policies, and practices

Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC) Employer Toolkit
Free tools to assess current policies and consider making changes

Families and Work Institute, 2015
Free, self-scoring tool comparing workplace flexibility policies to others in the same industry

Guide to Bold New Ideas (Free Searchable Tool)
Families and Work Institute
Profiles of “When Work Works” Award winners with descriptions of their programs and policies

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Boulder County is being recognized as a Violence and Injury Prevention Program of Excellence

The Violence and Injury Prevention (VIP) Programs of Excellence highlights sustainable and evidence-based programs that are being implemented around the state to prevent violence and injury in their communities. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is recognizing Boulder County as a VIP Program of Excellence for their outstanding work to increase family-friendly employment practices which is one of the four `essentials' identified in the Colorado Essentials for Childhood project.

The Boulder County Commissioners expanded a paid family leave benefit for new and repeat parents on the county's payroll. On January 1, 2016 new fathers and mothers of new birth or adopted children on the county staff became eligible for one month of paid parental leave, an increase from one week. Boulder County has also met the requirements to be officially designated a "breastfeeding-friendly work site," with a written policy that gives county employees opportunities to continue breastfeeding while at work.

Early return to work has been linked to decreased rates of breastfeeding, receipt of immunizations, and number of well-baby visits in the first year, as well as cognitive deficiencies and behavioral issues. Longer leave periods are associated with lower infant mortality rates. Offering extended paid leave reduces stress on mothers by maintaining job security and also contributing to the overall health of the child. Improvements to family-work balance, including providing options for flexible scheduling, time off, child care, and other family friendly policies, should be promoted as a means for reducing rates of child abuse. Conflict between work and the family contributes to stress and burnout and has been correlated with domestic violence and psychological aggression.

Thank you and way to "walk the walk" Boulder County!

For more information on the Violence and Injury Prevention Program of Excellence or to nominate a person or agency doing evidenced-based work in this field go to the Violence and Injury Prevention Recognition page.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sustaining Strong Families – Colorado’s Survey of Parenting Supports

The Family Resource Center Program within the Office of Early Childhood is spearheading a statewide effort to understand what keeps families safe and strong. This information will ultimately be used by communities to develop local plans to prevent child maltreatment. We would like to hear directly from parents about what is important to them. To that end, we are asking partners across the state to distribute an online survey that asks respondents about their community and family supports.

The survey is anonymous and will take about 15 minutes to complete. It will be open through Friday, February 5, 2016 and can be accessed from this link: