CCECC has a long history successfully supporting childcare centers and homes to remain open, as well as to recruit new centers and homes and guide them through licensing, and to support providers' ability to offer quality care. We are known and trusted in the community to offer effective support to those providing childcare. When it comes to quality, we identify proven programs, access funds to implement the programs, and provide site based support needed to integrate the programs into the ongoing work of centers and homes. We are seeking funds to expand our efforts.
The Chaffee County Early Childhood Council has three Strategic Priorities:
• Families have access to quality childcare, especially for infants and toddlers.
• Chaffee children have the supports they need to start school ready to learn.
• Chaffee County children are in safe and nurturing environments.
Founded in 2007, Chaffee County Early Childhood Council (CCECC) addresses needs that are too large and complex for any one agency or area of expertise, identifies proven solutions, and accesses the resources required to embed these solutions into the ongoing work of community partners. With guidance and support from CCECC members, subject matter experts, and community partners, CCECC monitors changing local early childhood (EC) issues and needs to inform and modify its work.
CCECC Strategic Priorities are based on comprehensive community needs assessments conducted every three years. In addition to severe childcare shortages, the assessments surfaced 4 significant school readiness skills gaps that CCECC is working to prevent and mitigate: ability to self-regulate; adequate approaches to learning including problem solving and perseverance; adequate attachment; and adequate vocabulary. Children entering school with these skills gaps tend to remain academically behind their peers. Research tells us that acquiring these skills begins at birth. CCECC trains local agencies and works with them to embed the following proven programs that support acquisition of these skills: Kid Connects, Second Step: Social Emotional Skills for Early Learning, Seedlings, Your Journey Together, Conscious Discipline, and Circle of Security. CCECC has sponsored these trainings completed by local service providers including health care, mental health, and community agency staff who are embedding programs into their ongoing work.
In 2013, Chaffee, Teller/Park, and Fremont Early Childhood Councils formed a Regional Consortium to address social and emotional skills gaps (prenatal to age 5). In 2016, the Consortium's success led to Fremont and Chaffee Councils receiving a highly competitive LAUNCH Together grant to strengthen their collaboration in five areas: integration of behavioral health into primary care; mental health consultation in early care and education; enhanced home visiting; and family strengthening and parent skills training. One of only 4 grantees awarded LAUNCH Together, the Chaffee Fremont regional collaboration is the only rural grantee.
CCECC work is guided by the Early Childhood Colorado Framework, Colorado Early Childhood Systems Building Inventory, Collective Impact, Results-Based Accountability, Colorado Shines, and Strengthening Families Framework.