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Welcome Back to School 2021-2022

Welcome Back to School CPP Coordinators! Our CDE Preschool team has pulled together pertinent and timely information to share with you as you begin the new school year.

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COVID Recovery Funds

 Significant funding is available through ESSER funds and can be used to support preschool programming, including community sites. Please work with others in your school district to consider how to best utilize funds for early childhood.  This resource offers ideas to guide utilizing these funds to best serve your early childhood system.

Requests for Full-Day Round 2 

The full-day request form, an application to combine two half-day CPP positions to serve a child for a full day, is open for this fall. Please use this process to request combining positions to provide full-day programming for children most in need. Please note, approval is only required to combine two CPP positions (CPP/CPP). Children served with two CPP positions should receive 5 hours of preschool per day or 20 hours per week for a total of 720 per year. Other combinations (CPP/ECARE, ECARE/ECARE, CPP/Special Education, ECARE/Special Education) do not require approval from CDE, but we do ask that you let us know of your intent to combine positions in this way to assist us with the annual student count.

Request Additional Positions

If your school district is in need of temporary funding to serve additional children who qualify for CPP/ECARE for this school year, please complete this form indicating the maximum number of additional positions your district is requesting. Temporary positions are allocated for one year only, your district’s allocation will return to the base allocation for the following year.  

CDE will review the requests in a timely manner and notify districts of any additional positions that can be allocated to them for this school year. Please consider taking advantage of this opportunity to maximize the funding your program receives to serve additional students in both your district and partner locations.  When calculating your request, ensure that you will have space to serve any incoming children identified for special education services throughout the school year.

Fall Regional Preschool Meeting

Due to COVID-19 health concerns, CDE’s Fall Regional Preschool Meetings will not be held face to face at regional locations. We are excited to offer a virtual learning experience in order to provide information and connect with you. Be sure to attend to receive the latest updates. More will follow with a schedule, however, our time frame for all of the events will be early November 2021. Scheduling details coming soon. We look forward to “seeing” you all then.

Temporary Remote Learning Options in direct response to COVID-19

Preschool programming is expected to be offered to all families as an in-person option. Only when a family has made a choice to decline in-person learning due to COVID-related health concerns should remote learning be offered, and then may only be made available when the district has a remote learning plan for preschool approved by the CDE Preschool Team and has submitted Preschool Assurances for Remote Learning. 

Remote learning as a quarantine response to exposure or illness does not require CDE Preschool Team approval, however, the Preschool Assurances for Remote Learning must be followed in the provision of any type of remote learning scenarios.

Improvement Planning and Early Learning

The early learning needs assessment supports schools and districts in analyzing the needs and learning of children from birth through age 8. This process can strengthen relationships between schools, districts, and early childhood partners to more accurately identify needs within the community, monitor trends, and inform the implementation of preventative strategies. A recent webinar recording is available to view to learn more about the Early Learning Needs Assessment, including expectations and resources for assessing school and district needs related to early childhood as a part of the Unified Improvement Planning (UIP) process.

Early Childhood Leadership Series Cohort

The CDE Preschool team is launching a new Early Childhood Leadership Series Cohort. This cohort will meet monthly for 8 sessions to explore how to exercise leadership in practice. Leaders will be selected through an application process. 

New Resource on Early Childhood Mental Health

NEW! The Right Mix to Support Social-Emotional Health in Early Childhood, provides guidance for community-based organizations to use in selecting and strengthening their range of available early childhood social and emotional health supports and resources, is now available. The guide, published by the DHS Office of Early Childhood, helps users understand their community needs, identify gaps, and select programs, curricula, and training to meet those needs. The guide will be distributed to Early Childhood Councils, Family Resource Centers, Community Centered Boards, and Community Mental Health Clinics.

Department of Early Childhood Transition and Universal Preschool Recommendations Planning Process

The Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC) is tasked with approving a plan to transition to the new agency and guiding the state’s new universal preschool program. To ensure recommendations are representative of the unique and diverse voices across Colorado, the ECLC will engage a wide range of stakeholders including parents, families, members of the early childhood workforce, providers, school districts, human services leaders, and others. We highly encourage participation in this planning process and encourage you to stay connected to this important work.

Quality Nutrition and Child Care

The Preschool Development Grant (PDG) Quality Nutrition workgroup is excited to share a new resource with you!  

The CACFP Participation in Colorado GIS story map provides an opportunity to see whether licensed child care providers serving children birth through five are participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program across the state.  The data used to create this map was from March 2021.  The landing page for the story map walks through many interesting features of the map, including overlays of food deserts (for the purposes of this story map, the term “food desert” is used to describe areas of insufficient access to food for low-income individuals) and poverty data, and features several community-specific profiles.  Additionally, it includes strategies for action based on information in the map.  At the end of the story map is the interactive version which can be explored using various filters.  The map distinguishes between licensed family child care homes and licensed child care centers and includes county boundaries. 

Consider using this resource in conversations with your DAC to better understand and serve your community!

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