Unifying the Early Childhood System: Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families members weigh in on HB1304 Implementation

Colorado is at a turning point. Due to the passage of House Bill 1304 Early Childhood System, the state is embarking on a journey to redesign how the state structures early childhood programming by creating a new state Department of Early Childhood, effective July 1, 2022. Over the course of the next year, the Early Childhood Leadership Commission will be developing and approving a transition plan–with input from families and professionals across the state. There is no bigger opportunity for members of the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families (the Partnership) to inform systems alignment for family well-being for families with young children.

On July 28, members of the Partnership, including several Partnership members who are also serving on the Department of Early Childhood Transition Advisory Group, met to share ideas about how the implementation of House Bill 1304 Early Childhood System can strengthen families by building on what’s working while transforming what isn’t. We are grateful to those who were able to join and share their insights on which programs should/should not move to the new department, what considerations the State should keep in mind in structuring the new department, and what the State should consider around timing of the transition. Participants identified a number of key considerations:

  • We need to bring intentionality and focus to how family strengthening programs are impacted by this change.
  • It’s not so much the what; it’s the how. No matter what programs move (or not), there will continue to be a need for clear roles, responsibilities, and communication between state departments.
  • Family voice needs to be centered–now and ongoing. By centering and collaborating with parents and families on an ongoing basis, we can ensure that the new department is being built and run with a holistic family perspective that will work for Colorado families.
  • We can both boldly reimagine our systems while also building on our strengths. Especially considering family strengthening work, our state has a lot of great programs and efforts–like the Partnership–that can be learned from and leveraged even as we transform our structures.

To learn more about the transition process, visit http://www.earlychildhoodcolorado.org/transition

To sign up for regular updates on the Department of Early Childhood Transition Planning and Universal Preschool Recommendations process, click HERE

To continue to engage in the process, register for an upcoming session:

Early Childhood Leadership Commission Listening Sessions & Townhalls:

  • LISTENING SESSION #1 – PROGRAM PROVIDERS- Early childhood program leaders, mental health programs, CCCAP administrators, school district providers, home visiting programs, and other program providers
  • Additional listening sessions will be held that are focused on the voices of FAMILIES and MEMBERS OF THE EARLY CHILDHOOD WORKFORCE. 
  • MONTHLY TOWN HALLS- Monthly, evening town halls will be hosted to share progress on the transition plan and universal preschool recommendations.
    • Spanish Language Interpretation will be available.
    • Tuesday, August 10th | 5:30 PM REGISTER HERE!


The next Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families meeting on Friday, August 20th will include a portion dedicated to hearing more feedback on HB1304 implementation. 


The work of the Partnership is supported through gifts, grants and donations through Illuminate Colorado, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working to strengthen families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment.

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If you’re a parent or caregiver looking for ways to get involved, fill out the Family Voice Representative Interest Form.