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Charting the Future of Early Childhood: Colorado's 10-Year Strategic Plan

byCharles HollowayonMay 24, 2023

The Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC) in Colorado has recently unveiled its 10-Year Strategic Plan, a blueprint designed to ensure that every child in the state is "valued, healthy, and thriving". This visionary approach draws on several core principles, including a commitment to equity, a holistic service approach, high-quality standards, and innovation.

Core to the guiding principles and functions of this roadmap include an intentional focus on child-, family-, and community-centered services. The ECLC’s mission is to establish Colorado as a beacon of inclusive and comprehensive early childhood care and education, providing services accessible to all children, regardless of their background.

To turn this vision into reality, the ECLC has outlined several key strategies. The plan prioritizes families' experiences and needs, promoting responsive service delivery and creating public forums to discuss and address systemic challenges. The ECLC will employ data-driven decisions to inform policy recommendations and encourage innovative policy changes that strengthen Colorado's mixed delivery system.

Furthermore, the commission is committed to enhancing the early childhood workforce. Efforts will be concentrated on policy strategies that boost recruitment, retention, and diversity at all leadership levels. The ECLC will advocate for adequate public and private funding needed to implement the Comprehensive Early Childhood Workforce Plan fully, ensuring Colorado's children are in capable hands.

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The strategic plan specifies concrete results, setting its sights on comprehensive and accessible early childhood care, a well-compensated and diverse workforce, and a data-driven system that supports evidence-based decisions. To accomplish these goals, the ECLC will utilize several "levers of change," including family, provider, and community voices, public and private investments, state agency plans, and national best practices.

The 10-year strategic plan is a bold commitment to Colorado’s children and their future. By putting families at the heart of the agenda and aiming for an equitable, inclusive, and data-driven early childhood system, the ECLC is shaping a brighter future for Colorado’s youngest residents. Through strategic planning, dedicated resources, and a commitment to best practices, the ECLC is setting a high standard for early childhood care and education. The next decade holds the promise of transforming this vision into a reality. Watch this space for Colorado, as it steps forward as a national leader in early childhood development.


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