About Us

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Overview

The Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) delivers a broad range of programs and services to Colorado's youngest children, their families, and the professionals who serve them. This includes the voter-approved Colorado Universal Preschool Program, which will launch in the 2023-24 school year. The Department was established in July 2022 under the leadership of Executive Director Dr. Lisa Roy, the Governor's cabinet appointment for Early Childhood. CDEC unifies Colorado's early childhood system and elevates it to cabinet-level importance, implementing the vision of Governor Polis and a dedicated stakeholder community that contributed to the launch of the Department of Early Childhood.

There are two stakeholder-driven reports, unanimously approved by the ECLC, which detail the vision for early childhood in Colorado.

Click here to read the Department of Early Childhood Transition Plan, or the Executive Summary available in English, Spanish and Arabic.

Click here to read the Colorado Universal Preschool Recommendations, or the Executive Summary available in English, Spanish and Arabic

CDEC Vision

All Colorado children, families, and early childhood professionals are valued, healthy and thriving.

CDEC Mission

The Colorado Department of Early Childhood ensures the delivery of a comprehensive, community-informed, data-driven, high quality and equitable early childhood system that supports the care, education and well-being of all Colorado’s young children, their families and early childhood professionals in all settings.

CDEC Values

We value equity across the early childhood system and are committed to utilizing an equity-focused lens to drive priorities and decision making.

We believe formal and informal care environments can provide high-quality, developmentally appropriate care and learning.

We respect and appreciate the diversity and strengths of all of our communities in Colorado.

We believe accessibility to early childhood services considers affordability, cultural responsiveness, and parent choice.

We value an innovative and expansive approach to our early childhood system.

We value a whole-family approach.

CDEC Guiding Principles 

Child, Family, and Community Centered

Equity Driven

All Children Served

Holistic Services Approach

Mixed Delivery System

Thriving, Effective Workforce

High-Quality Standards

Streamlined Efficiency

Data-Driven Outcomes

Focused Decisions

Accountability

Innovation

Newsletters and Announcements

Sign up for Department of Early Childhood notifications.

Job Opportunities

View State of Colorado job openings.