Clayton Early Learning

Clayton Early Learning improves early childhood education through direct services to children and professionals and through research and advocacy so that all children - especially those with limited opportunities - are prepared for success in school and society.

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Paula Smith, VP, Educational Services
Start Date: 2015

Paula Smith has over 20 years of experience supporting Early Head Start and Head Start programs, serving culturally diverse families and children, ages birth to five.
Since joining Clayton, Paula has managed education, health, mental health, early intervention, and child and family services to support school readiness. She currently provides leadership and oversight of Clayton early childhood programs, focused on strategic initiatives that include professional development and coaching throughout Colorado.
Paula earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Indiana University and a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Studies from Walden University.

Charlotte M Brantley, CEO/Executive Director
Start Date: 2006

Charlotte Brantley joined Clayton Early Learning in Denver, CO as president and CEO in 2006, after holding a variety of early childhood leadership appointments at local, state and national levels. Previously she taught preschoolers in model early childhood education programs; instructed teachers working toward AA and BA degrees; managed educational initiatives at PBS Kids television; and administered state and federal early childhood policies, programs and funding streams for the state of Texas and in the federal government as an appointee in the Clinton Administration. She is currently a member of the Governor appointed Colorado Early Childhood Leadership Commission and co-chairs the Legislation Implementation and the Data and Outcomes Committees. In that capacity she played a key role in the state's recent major overhaul of the CCDF Child Care Assistance Program, preceding the federal reauthorization that addressed many of the same policies to support more high need children and families having access to quality early learning and care.

Jane Williams, Chief Financial Officer
Start Date: 2018

Jane Williams serves as Chief Financial Officer for Clayton Early Learning. Jane has primary responsibility for all of the organization's financial activities, including accounting, finance, forecasting and budgeting, federal/state and private grant fiscal compliance, and investment portfolio management. Jane brings more than 20 years of experience working in accounting and finance for educational organizations, including the Science Museum of Minnesota and the College of Saint Benedict.

Cathy McCarty, Senior Vice President, Learning & Talent
Start Date: 2014

Cathy McCarty has over 25 years of management and human resources experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. She began her career as an elementary school teacher in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. With a move to Colorado, she joined Jefferson Bank & Trust, a community bank in Lakewood in 1980. Cathy served as Senior Vice President, leading division responsibilities including human resources and payroll, marketing and advertising, operations, and general services. During her tenure, she actively participated in education-related community involvement projects through the Colorado Alliance of Business and Junior Achievement. Since joining Clayton in 1994, Cathy has supported early childhood programs in diverse capacities including directing human resources, managing administrative services and leading Early Head Start and Head Start programming. In her current role as Vice President of Learning & Talent, Cathy will manage recruitment, retention and professional development of all Clayton staff. Cathy McCarty received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and elementary education credentials from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is a graduate of Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program and holds an MA in Education Administration and Policy Studies, with emphasis on Early Childhood Care and Education.

Sarah Berkman, Vice President, Development
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Sarah Berkman is responsible for prospecting, cultivating and stewarding donors and grants on behalf of Clayton Early Learning. She also oversees marketing and communications, helping to advance the brand and recognition of the organization. Prior to joining the team in February of 2015, Sarah worked for the University of Northern Colorado as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations. She also worked for the Colorado History Museum and supported the Capital Campaign efforts for the History Colorado Center that opened in spring 2012. Sarah attended Trinity College where she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts. Additionally, she attended the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver earning an International Master's Degree in Business Administration.

Helen R Benson, Executive Secretary
Start Date: 2001

Helen Benson can be contacted via email at


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Nonprofit completed the Colorado Nonprofit Association's Excellence in Principles & Practices Recognition Program?



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