FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) Announces Local Coordinating Organizations (LCOs)
LCOs will coordinate Universal Preschool, and help unify the birth through five+ system, for local communities across the state of Colorado
Denver (July 20, 2022) — Local Coordinating Organizations (LCOs) will be responsible for the coordination of Universal Preschool at the local level - this includes supporting families in navigating enrollment, tracking and reporting on seat availability in preschools, communicating with and supporting providers, and ensuring the smooth rollout of at least ten hours of free voluntary preschool for every child in the year before they are eligible to enter kindergarten. In time, CDEC will work with LCOs to broaden their areas of coordination, building a cohesive system among all early childhood service providers in their catchment area.
A full list of Local Coordinating Organizations, and the catchment area(s) that they will be serving, can be found here. Please note that the contact information for LCOs will be published soon.
The LCO model was developed through an extensive stakeholder process that took place in 2021, culminating in the Universal Preschool Preschool recommendations and the subsequent legislation, HB22-1295, which identified local entities as those best suited to serve their communities in this capacity, acknowledging that communities and the entities that support them will have varying levels of readiness to take on this role. Accordingly, the Department is committed to working with local communities and providing training and resources to help LCOs reach their full potential.
CDEC Executive Director Dr. Lisa Roy stated, “This stakeholder-driven model customizes early childhood leadership based upon the nuances and needs of each community. Local challenges call for local solutions, and the state is here to support LCOs as they work to meet the needs of children and families in their communities.”
The application process for Local Coordinating Organizations was centered on collaboration. Letters of support from a broad range of stakeholders in applicants’ communities were required in the application process, and the Early Childhood Transition Team partnered with the Early Childhood Leadership Commission and Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance to hold community conversations leading up to the application launch. 31 applications were received covering 34 of the 35 catchment areas across the state, and all were accepted.
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.