How the county's Child Welfare team identifies the calls that must be answered

A child’s brain is 90 percent developed by age five, and research tells us that children's early experiences have a profound impact on their long-term school and life outcomes. In my career as a preschool teacher, preschool center director, and early learning coach, I have seen how quickly children learn and grow with the right services and support.

Despite the importance of early childhood, kids and families in Colorado do not have what they need to take full advantage of this important period. Early childhood is when kids are most likely to live in poverty and experience homelessness. In addition, more than half of Coloradans live in a child care desert, meaning they cannot access quality, licensed child care for children. 

We must elevate early childhood to help ensure families and providers can meet the needs of young children. This year, we have the chance to do so by supporting legislation to create the Colorado Department of Early Childhood. 

Establishing the Colorado Department of Early Childhood will help expand access to high quality, affordable, voluntary early childhood experiences. This department would make Colorado a better place to live for infants and young children by ensuring early childhood services are aligned and delivered in an equitable fashion.  

Join me, alongside The Children Action Network, in urging state lawmakers to pass House Bill 21-1304 to establish the Colorado Department of Early Childhood and give kids the chance to thrive in Colorado. 

Elisha Stewart

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: Letters to the editor have not been edited nor fact-checked.