Colorado Department of Early Childhood announces $21.5 million in grants to address child care challenges worsened by pandemic

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Tova Cohen 

Director of Marketing and Communications

tova.cohen@state.co.us

720-788-4182

Colorado Department of Early Childhood announces $21.5 million in grants to address child care challenges worsened by pandemic

Grants will strengthen Colorado’s child care system and promote children’s health and well-being.

Denver (July 26, 2022) — The Colorado Department of Early Childhood is pleased to announce the award of $21.5 million in Community Innovation and Resilience for Care and Learning Equity (CIRCLE) grants to advance innovation, promote equity, and address tough child care challenges that have been worsened by the pandemic

Nearly 200 organizations across 52 counties – including 106 early care and education providers, 19 early childhood councils, and 63 statewide and local nonprofit organizations – have been awarded one-year CIRCLE grants for projects to:

  • Pilot innovative approaches to make child care more affordable 
  • Plan for and address gaps in infant and toddler care 
  • Boost the ECE workforce by supporting new training, recruitment, and retention efforts
  • Strengthen ECE providers’ business practices by expanding support systems and technical assistance
  • Promote children’s health, social-emotional development, and learning, especially children with special needs and dual language learners, through expanded training and specialized support 

The funding is part of over $275 million from the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act received by Colorado. Gov. Jared Polis and the Colorado General Assembly created the CIRCLE Grant program through Senate Bill 21-236. The Colorado Department of Early Childhood selected Early Milestones Colorado to administer the grants.

“The Department of Early Childhood is thrilled to fund projects promoting innovation and equity across our early childhood system, ensuring the organizations that care for our youngest Coloradans and their families are well-supported. On the heels of the pandemic, this support is absolutely critical, and we are grateful to Early Milestones for their partnership” said Dr. Lisa Roy, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Early Childhood.

We are proud to partner with Gov. Polis and the Colorado Department of Early Childhood to support the CIRCLE initiative. This important investment advances innovation and equity for our state’s young children, their families and the providers who serve them every day,” said Jennifer Stedron, Executive Director of Early Milestones Colorado.

Licensed early care and education providers will have one more chance to apply for a CIRCLE grant in August, 2022. For more information, please email circle@earlymilestones.org or visit earlymilestones.org/project/circle-grants/.

You can also find more information about CIRCLE grants and other stimulus funded activities at the Department of Early Childhood’s stimulus website, coecstimulus.com

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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.

Learn more about the Colorado Department of Early Childhood at cdec.colorado.gov.