Policy Resource

Colorado Takes on the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge

Jan 9, 2016

Learn how Colorado is implementing the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant.

In 2012, Colorado reapplied for and was awarded the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant and proposed the following targets to improve its early learning and development (ELD) systems. The Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant is a federal program which aims to improve the quality of early learning and development and close the achievement gap for children with high needs. RTT-ELC grants focus on improving early learning and development programs for young children by supporting each states efforts to; increase the number and percentage of high needs children in each age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who are enrolled in high-quality early learning programs; design and implement an integrated system of high-quality early learning programs and services; and ensure that any use of assessments conforms with the recommendations of the National Research Council’s reports on early childhood.

Colorado was awarded $29.9 million dollars in grant funding through RTT-ELC in December, 2012. The grant provides funding for four years, accelerating the states plan to improve school readiness for all children. An additional $14.9 million dollars were awarded to the state in July, 2013 through a supplemental grant award, which provided additional resources for existing projects within the original grant application.

The implementation and execution of the grant is a collaborative effort between the Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Department of Higher Education and the Colorado Department of Education. Within the plan are six focus areas which will address different needs within the Early Childhood spectrum.

Project Areas of the Grant:

  1. Colorado Shines Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS): Promoting and evaluating quality across all licensed early child care and learning providers in Colorado
  2. Building a Great Early Childhood Workforce: Strengthening Colorados early childhood workforce through performance-based competencies
  3. Results Matter Expansion: Supporting and measuring child and family development for children birth to age five.
  4. Kindergarten Readiness: Advancing student performance by measuring and supporting a child’s progress through individual school readiness plans.
  5. Early Learning & Development Guidelines: A guide to child development from birth to age 8.
  6. Universal Application: Expansion of the current PEAK system to use a single portal to apply for family assistance.

Click here to learn more about the Colorado Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge visit.

Learn more about the Early Learning Challenge Grant Is Helping States Better Serve Infants and Toddlers.

Updated January 2016

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