At the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children, we strive to help early childhood professionals develop, grow, and succeed; and to promote equitable access to quality learning and care for all of Colorado's children.
We are an organization for early childhood professionals, by early childhood professionals.
We support early childhood professionals through offering affordable and accessible professional development opportunities, participating in advocacy efforts on a state and federal level, cultivating a supportive statewide network of early childhood professionals, and uplifting the voices of teachers.
Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children (COAEYC) is the Colorado affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC is a leading national professional membership organization known for the creation of Developmentally Appropriate Practice, the standard of quality in early childhood care and education.
Since 1968, COAEYC has been a valuable resource to early childhood professionals across Colorado. As a professional membership organization, COAEYC provides affordable, accessible professional development to the early childhood field. We partner with a number of early childhood organizations throughout Colorado to advocate for the early childhood workforce and the well being of children and families in Colorado and across the United States.
At COAEYC, our goal is to advance the early childhood profession. We envision a world where early childhood educators are valued and highly compensated, and where children have equitable access to quality learning and care programs. We want all professionals and providers -- from school districts to home-based programs, from metro Denver to the rural corners of our great state -- to feel included, heard, and valued.
We believe that curiosity invites broad, multi-dimensional, and diverse viewpoints that advance our mission. We also believe that in order for the early childhood field to be inclusive and high-performing, we must recognize the uniqueness of and invest in groups and individuals.
The COAEYC Board of Directors is comprised of nine member elected volunteer members-at-large from the early childhood field across the state of Colorado.
As a long time early childhood professional in SW Colorado, I became involved with COAEYC to be a voice for the more rural parts of our state. Through my committee work I've witnessed first-hand COAEYC's commitment to not only Colorado families, but to a dedicated work force that needs a voice at the local, state, and national level. COAEYC has made a concerted effort to meet the needs of the more rural parts of our state: increasing virtual professional development and a state-wide listening tour are just two examples.
When I am working with COAEYC, I see a commitment to quality early years education for all Colorado families, as well as a strong ally and advocate for early years professionals across our state. Please consider donating this CO Gives Day to COAEYC, supporting families and teachers in Colorado.
- Stephanie Milner, COAEYC Advocacy and Policy Committee
COAEYC has constantly served as an important organization to promote and advance the field of early childhood education, both for the children and the professionals who work with the children.
During the pandemic, I personally found that the value of COAEYC increased exponentially. COAEYC provided many opportunities for me to virtually connect with other early childhood education professionals in a time when we could not connect in person. I have attended trainings, joined a subcommittee and will even attend the National Annual Conference (virtually) despite the limitations of living in a pandemic. I was able to continue to enhance my own learning and connect with others in the field, even when we could not meet in person. I am grateful for the resiliency, creativity and persistence of COAEYC in their efforts to further the field of early childhood education. In a time when much of our lives had to be put on hold, COAEYC was able to move forward. This will truly benefit the youngest members of our population affected by the pandemic - those in birth through age 8.
- Shelley Roth, COAEYC Member
Hello, my name is Erin Ellis and I have been a proud member of the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children since March 2018 and Board Member since July 2021. COAEYC believes in strong and actionable advocacy efforts on behalf of all Early Childhood professionals, children and their families. This is accomplished through professional development, advocacy, and truly listening to the strengths, needs, and interests of everyone in the field.
As a former preschool paraprofessional in Denver Public Schools in a mixed age classroom of 3-5 year olds, for three years, this time period gave me the greatest joys of my life. I got to witness firsthand the excitement, curiosity, joy and determination of my students on a daily basis. Early Childhood Education is of critical importance because it serves as the foundation for all other grade levels and is the cornerstone for all future school readiness skills and success. COAEYC members are passionate about working to provide equitable funding, resources, and support to every Colorado school district with Early Childhood Education classrooms.
I am fortunate that my leadership roles within COAEYC have progressed over the years. I have been a member, committee member, committee chair and now a Board member during my three years within the organization thus far. These leadership roles have increased my confidence regarding advocacy and how to collaborate with businesses, school districts, and communities as a whole in order to demonstrate to them the critical importance and recognition that Early Childhood Education deserves.
Please consider making a donation to the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children on Colorado Gives Day on December 7, 2021. Donations will ensure the continued advancement of Early Education and its endless possibilities for our youngest learners!
- Erin Ellis, COAEYC Board Member at Large, Advocacy and Policy Committee Co-chair