All Colorado children, families, and early childhood professionals are valued, healthy and thriving.
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.
The Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) provides leadership, guidance, and support to ensure all children are valued, healthy and thriving. In addition, CDEC promotes equitable access to inclusive programs and services for all children from birth through age eight, facilitates state and community partnerships that address the needs of young children and their families, and provides professional development, technical assistance, and resources for the early childhood care and education workforce. It is also responsible for the delivery of at least ten hours of voluntary preschool for every child in the year before entering kindergarten, with additional hours to be available for children in need.
The Colorado Department of Early Childhood collaborates with early childhood care providers, Early Childhood Councils, local organizations, and other state and county entities to ensure that Colorado children, families and early childhood professionals are valued, healthy and thriving. The Department will manage Colorado’s new Universal Preschool program, serving 4-year-olds statewide starting in the summer of 2023. The Department will also manage comprehensive programs and services for young children, families and early childhood professionals, utilizing a "one-stop shop" application process.
Specifically, the department supports and/or provides services for:
- Children ages birth - 3 years
- Early Intervention IDEA, Part C
- Children 3-5 years
- Colorado Preschool Program (CPP)
- Early Childhood At-Risk Enhancement (ECARE)
- Children under 5 years
- Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention Program
- Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH)
- Head Start Collaboration Office
- Home Visiting Programs - NFP, SafeCare, PAT, Healthy Steps, Child First, HIPPY
- Promoting Safe and Stable Families
- Children up to age 13 years and for children with special needs up to age 19 years
- Colorado Child Care Assistance (CCCAP)
- Families with children of all ages
- Child Abuse Prevention Trust Fund
- Colorado Community Response (CCR)
- Family Resource Centers
- Fathers who are over the age of 18 years who have children or custody of children (ages 24 years and younger are eligible for services)
- Colorado Fatherhood Program (CFP)
- Early Childhood Workforce and families with children up to 18 years
- Early Childhood Councils & Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R)
- Early Childhood Workforce
- Colorado Shines Professional Development Information System (PDIS)
- Background Investigation Unit
- Early Childhood Workforce Development Team
- Early Childhood Providers
- Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)
- Child Care Licensing
The department’s staff is committed to providing the right services to the right people in the right setting at the right time.