Larimer Awarded Early Childhood Workforce Innovation Grant!

ECCLC is excited to be the backbone support for one of six partnerships across the state chosen to receive a Workforce Innovation Grant as part of the larger Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce in Colorado Initiative. These grants have been awarded for one year to help advance innovative solutions through one or more levers for change: Compensation, Targeted Recruitment, Education and Career Pathways, and Working Conditions. Projects were selected based upon their strong partnerships, flexible approaches to improvement, and willingness to tackle Colorado’s workforce challenges by testing innovative ideas that hold the promise for long-term, systemic and sustainable change.

Larimer’s proposal, Expanding Professional Possibilities in Early Childhood, is focusing both on working conditions and targeted recruitment.  The focus will be multi-faceted:

  • Increasing support for professionals entering the ECE field through:
    • Training and coaching mentor teachers.
    • Increasing cultural sensitivity within organizations to better support staff diversity.
  • Creating innovative pathways to recruit and support people to enter the field as Early Childhood Teachers:
    • The Larimer Campus of Front Range Community College is developing a cohort model of 15 students who will finish their early childhood foundation certificate classes as a cohort while working half-time as assistant teachers in high quality early childhood programs, under the supervision of a mentor teacher.
    • ECCLC will be working to establish a federally approved Early Childhood Apprenticeship program for high school students who are interested in entering the early childhood field. Partners include both Poudre and Thompson school district staff.
  • Working with the business community to address systemic barriers to expanding access to quality child care through the newly formed Talent 2.0 Child Care Task Force (see article below).

These grants are part of the Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce in Colorado Initiative, a public-private partnership led by Early Milestones Colorado that includes Gary Community Investments, Buell Foundation, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Colorado Department of Human Services. Rose Community Foundation serves as fiscal sponsor for the grantmaking effort, and Mathematica Policy Research provides technical assistance and evaluation of the Initiative.