Policy Resource

Colorado Initiative Encourages Innovative Approaches to Early Childhood Workforce

Oct 29, 2019

Early Milestones Colorado recently awarded Early Childhood Workforce Innovation Grants to multiple groups across the state.

As part of the Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce in Colorado Initiative, Early Milestones Colorado recently awarded Early Childhood Workforce Innovation Grants to multiple groups across the state. Applicants were asked to submit innovative solutions related to one or more key levers for change: compensation, recruitment, education and career pathways, and/or working conditions.

Twenty organizations applied for the funding and five grantees were chosen. Innovative approaches included:

• leadership development for directors and assistant directors to enhance strategies for workforce recruitment and retention, and support job-embedded skill development for new early childhood education professionals;

• an apprenticeship program with mentor teachers who will receive college coursework specific to mentoring skills;

• implementation of a high school apprenticeship program in collaboration with school districts;

• a Spanish-taught Child Development Associate pilot for high school juniors and seniors and informal caregivers; and

• Career navigation resources for people seeking Early Childhood Teacher qualifications, including scholarships, on-the-job training, and wrap-around supports targeting job retention and success.

For another example of how Colorado encourages communities to drive change, read this case study published earlier this year.