In this Issue
Universal Preschool Colorado

UPK Matching Update
Based on the feedback received from a number of stakeholders, CDEC extended the match date for the first round of UPK to allow us to work together to ensure that the matching process accommodates the needs of all providers and families. The time will allow us to ensure that the programs children have been matched to are still in place, appropriately place children with disabilities, and address continuity of care issues that have surfaced since the matching algorithm was run on February 27.

By April 26, families will receive an email letting them know which provider their child was matched with and the next steps for enrollment.

UPK Quality Standards Update
CDEC issued an Operation Memo on April 5 with information related to the implementation of quality standards for year one of UPK Colorado as well as information on creating quality standards and aligned supports beyond the 2023-24 school year. 

For more information about UPK Colorado, click here.
Early Childhood Educator Income Tax Credit

Did you know that if you are an early childhood educator you could be eligible for up to $1,500 in a refundable tax credit?

To qualify you must have the following:

  1. a federal adjusted gross income less than or equal to $75,000 if filing a single return or less than equal to $150,000 if filing jointly
  2. an Early Childhood Professional Credential issued by CDEC for at least part of the income tax year, and have been either the licensee of an eligible program or employed by an eligible program for at least six months of the income tax year.

To claim the credit you must file a Colorado Individual Tax Return (DR 0104) with two attachments:

  1. Individual Credit Schedule (DR 0104CR)
  2. Early Childhood Educator Income Tax Credit (DR 1703)

Visit the Colorado Department of Revenue for more information on how to get this credit.

For free tax filing help and information about other credits you may qualify for, visit Get Ahead Colorado.

National Childhood Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, CDEC encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Colorado a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can promote the social and emotional well-being of children and young people to prevent child maltreatment within families and communities. 

In support of these efforts, Illuminate Colorado developed an Issue Brief on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse in Colorado. The brief examines data and trends related to child sexual abuse in Colorado, highlights efforts to prevent this trauma and presents recommendations to advance prevention statewide.

Pilot Sites for Staffed Family Child Care Network Selected
Staff from the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC), Colorado Association of Family Child Care (CAFCC), and Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA), have come together to lift Colorado’s first Staffed Family Child Care Network. CDEC sought the participation of three Early Childhood Councils (ECC) to act as pilot sites for the network through an RFA last fall; those selected include Bright Futures (Delta, Montrose, Ouray, San Juan, San Miguel) ECC of Larimer County, and Triad ECC (Clear Creek, Gilpin, Jefferson). The vision for this network is to be a support system committed to honoring diversity and connecting educators in home-based settings to strengthen the quality of care delivered to Colorado's children and families through a responsive, dynamic, equitable, interconnected network. 

The three main service areas of focus upon launch of the Staffed Family Child Care Network include: 
  1. Broad technical assistance and technology support (including child care management systems, using the Provider Hub, accessing equipment, etc.) for providers. 
  2. The development and dissemination of a robust licensing starter kit and coaching, plus the package of supports to become licensed.
  3. Intensive models of business training and coaching for providers. 
The selected pilot sites will offer these supports to providers using a relationship-based approach. Child care providers will be recruited to participate once pilot sites are up and running.
ECLC Town Hall

The Early Childhood Leadership Commission will continue to host monthly informational Town Halls to provide families, providers, members of the workforce, and early childhood stakeholders with updates about the Department of Early Childhood and Universal Preschool Program implementation process and opportunities to get involved. Join us to hear from members of the Colorado Department of Early Childhood and Governor's Early Childhood Transition Team, state agency leaders, and other early childhood champions as we work together to ensure all children, families, and early childhood professionals are valued, healthy and thriving. Spanish language interpretation will be available.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023
5:30 PM
Register Now!

La Comisión de Liderazgo para la Primera Infancia seguirá organizando reuniones comunitarias informativas mensuales para proporcionar a las familias, los proveedores, los miembros del personal y las partes interesadas en la primera infancia con actualizaciones del Departamento de la Primera Infancia, el proceso de implementación del Programa Preescolar Universal y las oportunidades para participar. Acompáñenos para escuchar a los miembros del Departamento de la Primera Infancia de Colorado y al Equipo de Transición de la Primera Infancia del Gobernador, los líderes de las agencias estatales y otros defensores de la primera infancia mientras trabajamos juntos para garantizar que todos los niños, las familias y los profesionales de la primera infancia sean valorados, saludables y prósperos. Habrá interpretación en español disponible.

Martes, 11 de abril de 2023
5:30 PM 
¡Regístrese aquí!

Test & Fix Water for Kids
In June 2022, Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 22-1358: Clean Water in Schools and Child Care Centers into law. The law requires that each child care center, family child care home and school that serves any of grades preschool through fifth in Colorado test their drinking water for lead by May 31, 2023, and remediate if necessary. 
The Test & Fix Water for Kids program will help schools and child care programs meet HB22-1358 requirements by providing free training, testing, remediation and technical assistance. 

Please visit the CDPHE website for details on the Test & Fix Water for Kids program.

Project Include: Vision & Hearing Kits Now Available
Increase inclusion in your child care program with Project Include. The Vision & Hearing Kits are now available!

We are excited to share that Project Include, our initiative to help Colorado’s licensed child care programs make adaptations to better serve children with delays, disabilities, and differences, now has all four Universal Design & Inclusion Kits available for check-out and trial in your child care program.

Choose from the following kits:
Visit the Project Include website today to learn more and get started by filling out the General Interest form.
¡Aumente la inclusión en su programa de cuidado infantil con el Proyecto de Inclusión! Los kits de Visión y Audición ya están disponibles.

Nos alegra compartir que el Proyecto de Inclusión, nuestra iniciativa para ayudar a los programas de cuidado infantil con licencia de Colorado a realizar adaptaciones para apoyar mejor a los niños con retrasos, discapacidades y diferencias, ¡ya tiene disponible los 4 Kits de Diseño Universal e Inclusión para préstamo y exploración en su programa de cuidado infantil!

Escoja entre los Kits de
Visite el sitio web del Proyecto de Inclusión para aprender más y rellenar el formulario de interés para empezar.
Southern Colorado Early Childhood Business Conference
Southern Colorado SBDC is partnering with Children First, Pueblo’s Early Childhood Council, to offer the Southern Colorado Early Childhood Business Conference.
Date: Saturday, April 22
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: In-person at Pueblo Community College's Fortino Ballroom
Cost: $20.00

Register for the conference here!

The Early Childhood Business Conference will offer information and resources for child care providers and child care businesses, and link them to helpful services offered by various local organizations.

You will receive five hours of PDIS credit when attending all of the sessions during the conference.  In order to receive the PDIS credit, you must be registered with Colorado Shines Professional Development Information System (PDIS). Click here to log in to your existing PDIS account or to create a new PDIS account.

Licensing Incentive Bonus

Consider applying for the Licensing Incentive Bonus! This grant provides a one-time bonus incentive to unlicensed providers who become newly licensed as a Family Child Care Home, a Non-Home Child Care Facility, or to become CCCAP qualified exempt. The goal of this incentive is to increase the number of licensed child care providers in the state and to increase families' access to safe, quality child care. Providers who become newly licensed will receive a $5,000 bonus. Providers who become CCCAP qualified exempt will receive a $500 bonus. Providers cannot receive both bonuses. 

Our partner, Metrix, has sent applications to eligible providers. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2023, and the deadline to spend is September 30, 2023. View our flyers in English and Spanish for more information.



Highly Mobile Youth CDE Learning Cohort
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is excited to convene a Highly Mobile Youth CDE Learning Cohort. Find additional details about this group here. This action-oriented meeting is appropriate for educators, professionals, and organizations serving highly mobile students, including McKinney-Vento, Foster Care Education, and Migrant Education (i.e., McKinney-Vento District Liaisons, Family Resource Advocates, Graduation Advocates, School Leaders, School Counselors, Social Workers, Child Welfare Education Liaisons, School Psychologists, Before/After School Site Supervisors, Migrant Education Recruiters, District Wellness Coordinators). 
Pyramid Facilitator Certification Application Opens May 1 

Do you want to support Pyramid implementation in your community? Apply for the 10-month Pyramid Facilitator Certification program that qualifies participants to lead Pyramid training, coaching, observations, and to support implementation in programs and communities. To learn more, visit Healthy Child Care Colorado's website and join the virtual information session at 2 p.m. on Monday, May 1. 

Provider Appreciation Day®

Provider Appreciation Day® (PAD), a day to honor and celebrate the essential work of child care providers, is May 12.  PAD a chance to show gratitude for the tireless work of the child care workforce. Be sure to recognize the child care providers you know on this special day!

Farm to Child|April

Serving locally grown or produced food is not only a USDA best practice, but it is also reimbursable through the Child and Adult Care Food Program. View the April Farm to Child newsletter to learn about documentation, the Harvest of the Month, new training opportunities for children of all abilities on PDIS, and to dig into the latest Farm to Child content.

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