Message from the Director
Label me an optimist, but I believe that working to create the future we want our young children to have is a moral and ethical imperative. And we in Boulder County have been fortunate to have our partners in the health and mental health arenas, parents with young children, public officials, early childhood professionals and representatives of both school districts working over the past 12 years to make this vision a reality.
The Early Childhood Council of Boulder County (ECCBC) is a 501 c 3 whose legislative mandate comes from HB07-1062: “…to increase and sustain the quality, accessibility, capacity and affordability of early childhood services for children five years and younger and their parents.” To that end, ECCBC and our countywide partners have been engaged in the design of a comprehensive system of early childhood programs and services since our initial discussions began in 1998.
Based upon the work completed so far, we can answer the questions:
- Where are the gaps in programs and services for families with young children?
- What current programs and services serve young families?
- What indicators will be used to measure the impact of programs and services as well as the comprehensive system initiative process?
Still to be answered:
- Is there the public will to continue to make a difference in the lives of our youngest?
Strides have been made to make high quality early care and education available to young families in Boulder:
- A mill levy override was passed in November 2010 by the taxpayers in the Boulder Valley School District to expand preschool slots
- Every elementary school in the St Vrain school district has an imbedded preschool
- Early Head Start (for children birth to three) began in Longmont in 2011 which partners with the current Longmont The Wild Plum Center, the Head Start grantee for the east county
- Wilderness Place (under the auspices of The Acorn School) will open in the summer of 2012 providing a permanent home to the Boulder Head Start as well as increasing slots for preschoolers
The work continues and ECCBC is committed to keeping our local and state partners updated as the continued refinement of the system moves forward.
Director, The Early Childhood Council of Boulder County