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We are Mesa County’s local Early Childhood Council. We focus on strengthening partnerships within the community to leverage resources that support the holistic development of all children in Mesa County. By bringing everyone who impacts a child’s life to the table, we can better identify and overcome obstacles that families and children navigate during early childhood. We focus on increasing and improving quality care in every child care setting, supporting and building future providers, and connecting families to resources that support the health and well being of their children to ensure that the needs of every child in Mesa County are met.

Mesa County Partnership for Children and Families logo

We work with the following

What we do

Workforce Development

The Partnership for Children and Families works closely with the Child Care 8,000 initiative, which aims to increase licensed child care slots in Mesa County from 4,200 to 8,000 by 2022. Mesa County is considered a child care desert, meaning that there are currently not enough child care slots available for all children in our community under the age of five.  The work of PCF includes continual community wide assessment, strategic planning, data collection and monitoring to build and sustain local capacity for improvement of early childhood systems.

Improving Quality

The Partnership for Children & Families supports licensed child care facilities through administering Colorado Shines, Preschool Development Grant, and other funding opportunities from the Office of Early Childhood. PCF works directly in supporting programs that participate in Colorado Shines, the state’s quality rating system. This system connects families looking for quality child care or preschools to programs while also helping programs improve their quality level. Programs can apply for quality ratings and support to improve quality at a pace that works for the individual program.

Connect Families

One component of our work is ensuring that high quality is happening in every setting where child care is taking place. We do this through maintaining our Got Kids Roadmap, a virtual community resource guide, and engaging with the Family, Friends, and Neighbor community in Mesa County. Families looking for quality child care or preschools can get connected through Colorado Shines or by visiting our website to see a list of high quality programs in our area.

Early Childhood Steering Committee

In 2019, the Early Childhood Steering Committee of Mesa County was formed. This steering committee is made up of Mesa County Valley School District 51 Preschool Program Council, the Local Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention Colorado of Mesa County, and the Mesa County Partnership for Children and Families, the state designated Early Childhood Council of Mesa County. The ECSC operates with a board of community partners. Both the steering committee and the board meet bi-monthly, holding meetings each alternating month.

Why it matters

A child’s future is molded in the first few years of life. Research has shown that experiences children have in the first three years of life significantly impact the physical structure of the brain and a child’s ability to learn. By the time children enter school, brain development is 90% complete. Increasing accessibility to high-quality care supports this development. In addition to the individual and family unit, investing in children benefits the entire community by advancing equity, improving health outcomes, and bolstering the economy. High-quality experiences before entering the K-12 education system has demonstrated a return on investment ranging from $7 to $17 for every dollar spent.

Resources for Mesa County child advocates