August 28th, 2023

The Early Childhood Council of the SLV would like to recognize Darlene Jimenez, Maria Casias and Brittany Martin for

their achievements in receiving their Child Development Associate (CDA).

What does it mean to you to have received your Child Development Associate?

“Receiving my CDA is something I never pictured. I started working at Tiny Hands as a substitute, then was the cook for a while before I was asked to be a teacher in the toddler room. I quickly fell in love with the position and knew I wanted to advance in my career and quickly began the process for my CDA.  I was very discouraged with bumps in the road, but I am now grateful for the whole journey and now have my CDA. Thanks to everyone for their support, requiring my CDA has made me quickly learn about organizing, classroom schedules and planning.” -Darlene Jimenez

What does it mean to you to have received your Child Development Associate?

“I’m very proud of my accomplishments. Having my CDA has given me a chance to advance my career, meet my job requirements and increase my confidence. Most of all, meeting the needs of the families and children and having a better understanding of developmentally appropriate practices.”-Maria Casias, Gingerbread House

“Receiving my CDA is one of my greatest achievements, being able to grow in the profession I absolutely love and to continue to learn new ways to educate and connect with children and their families. Receiving my CDA has really made me want to continue to learn and grow in early childhood.”-Brittany Martin-Gingerbread House  

Universal Preschool Colorado-Updates

Happy start of the 2023-2024 school year! If you are looking for Pre-K options still, there are a number of seats open to utilize the UPK funding for the current school year.

For families needing help with applications and placement, the CDEC Help desk is no longer available. For help, please contact your local LCO here. For Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache county residences please contact 719-214-6202 or email [email protected] for help.

Families will soon be able to view what their UPK award will be. More information to follow.

Providers: You all are doing a great job! Keep up all the hard work, and we THANK YOU for working through the enrollment period. Please be on the lookout for a very important update directly from Metrix regarding 3 year-old funding, and historical seat verification that will go directly to school districts! This is a critical request that will affect funding every year moving forward. Please reach out for help with any questions directly to [email protected]

Timeline for matching that is occurring on a weekly basis:

Mondays: Matching algorithm runs

Tuesday to Thursday: Provider review period

Friday’s: families can review matches and have until the following Thursday to accept.

Stay tuned for draft quality standards. They are expected by the end of August. 

Again, for help or assistance with your UPK application or anything else, please contact [email protected] or call 719-214-6202.

Upcoming PDIS Help Session Schedule:


Click here for full size schedule.

Register here!

Upcoming Live Virtual and In-Person Training Events

To register:

Click on the above links to navigate to training details and register. For assistance with PDIS registrations, please view the How-to Video: Registering for a Live Training Session on PDIS  or How-to Guide: Registering for a Training Event Session. Additional training events will be posted in the My Calendar menu option in Colorado Shines PDIS as they become available. You may contact the PDIS Help Desk (1.844.447.4441 or [email protected]) if you need assistance with any Colorado Shines PDIS registration.

Directors and Professional Development Coordinators:

Visit Colorado Shines PDIS Instructor-Led Training Events Recognized by TAP to view a list of training you may arrange for your program including relationship-based care and trauma-responsive care opportunities. Contact the Training Alignment Coordinator, Mary Heffernan ([email protected]) if you’d like to offer training through TAP and the Colorado Shines PDIS or visit Apply to Have Your Training Appear in PDIS (TAP).

Click here for full list of events.

Health & Safety

Imagination Library-Free Book Program

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a free book program promoting early childhood literacy and providing acces to books at no cost to families. Each month until a child turns 5, an age-appropriate book is mailed to the child's home creating excitement about books and fostering a love for reading.

Sign up here!

The Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) Family Voice Council is now accepting interest forms!

Do you or someone you know have a passion for programs and services that support young children and their families? Share your thoughts and help make services better for your community by joining the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) Family Voice Council!

The CDEC Family Voice Council is a group of parents and guardians of young children birth through eight from across Colorado. The purpose of the Council is to provide input in the design and delivery of early childhood programs and services that meet the needs of children and families in Colorado. Council members come together virtually every month to learn, provide input, and improve services for children and families. Compensation is available for members.


If you or someone you know would be interested in serving on the Family Voice Council please have them complete our online form (available in English or Spanish) or download and share our flyer (in English and Spanish).


Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions. Thank you! 

Click here to fill out an interest form.

Haga clic aquí para completar el formulario de interés.

Personal Development - Career opportunities and financial supports for you! 


High quality early childhood settings begin with well-trained and well-prepared educators. The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) currently offers several state-wide scholarship and grant opportunities for students who would like to earn a degree, certificate, or credential in early childhood education, and for home-based providers who are seeking funding to start up, expand, or maintain consistent operations for their family child care home facility:

  • ECCLA’s Back to Work Scholarship Program provides 1:1 career and college navigation and scholarship awards up to $2,500.00 that can be used for several different types of expenses (like books, supplies, child care, and more!)
  • ECCLA’s Concurrent Enrollment Scholarship is for high school students interested in earning college credits and experience in Early Childhood Education.
  • ECCLA’s Early Childhood Coach Credential Scholarship is available to help recipients complete the training requirements to earn a Colorado Coach Credential.
  • ECCLA’s Family Child Care Home Improvement Grant is available to help home-based providers start up, expand, or maintain consistent operations for their family child care home facility. 
  • ECCLA’s Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Program provides career counseling and tuition support to early childhood professionals in rural communities seeking to earn early childhood credentials like ERS®, CLASS®, National Director Credential, Coaching Credential, and any of the ECE College Certificates.
  • ECCLA’s T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Colorado Scholarship Program offers early childhood professionals a pathway to pursue higher education. 
  • ECCLA’s  Early Childhood Coach Credential Scholarship, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC), ECCLA offers a scholarship opportunity for early childhood professionals seeking an Early Childhood Coaching Credential. 

The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) is committed to the process of ensuring equity, dismantling systems of racism, and supporting young children, families, and early childhood professionals to have a voice as their true selves in our early childhood system. ECCLA’s Justice, Equity, and Belonging (JEB) Collaborative has created a Resource Collection that can support you in creating inclusive environments for children, families, and educators. We have resources created by ECCLA, resources for caregivers and educators, administrators and program leaders, and other community and state stakeholders, along with a list of Equity Trainings and Trainers. Check out ECCLA’s JEB page to see how you can create inclusive environments for children, families, and educators!

Click here to Apply 
Click here for Resources

ECE Educator Loan Forgiveness

The ECE Educator Loan Forgiveness program is for ECE Educators to receive loan forgiveness. Round 3 opens this Friday, August 4!

The Round 3 application link will be open Friday, August 4 through Tuesday, August 31, 2023. There will be limited spots available!!

ECE Educator Loan Forgiveness | Higher Education (

Resource and Referral


The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance has announced a new grant for Family Child Care Home Providers. The Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant. Below are the eligibility requirements.

·      Must be a licensed home-based child care program.

·      Funds must be used to serve children from birth to five years old.

·      Funds must be utilized to address health, safety, or licensing issues through physical improvement to a facility’s learning environments or maintain or increase capacity.

·      Funds cannot be used for retirement of debt, salaries, or consultants and cannot be used as a reimbursement. If you complete the project before being awarded the grant, grant funds cannot be used as a reimbursement for the project.

·      Applications that request $2,500 or more must own the facility or provide a letter of landlord support.

·      The maximum amount requested is $5,000.

·      Applicant must complete all fields of application and submit all required supporting documentation including “before” photos.

·      A child care program may receive only one FCCH Facilities Improvement Grant from ECCLA during a 12-month period.

·      Applicant must submit a six-month progress report and a 12-month completion report that includes “after” photos of the funded project.

·      Applicant must submit copies of at least two bids for the project. If your project does not require bids, you will need attached pictures of what you wish to purchase.

·      If opening a new family child care business, must be in the pre-licensing stage or completed pre-licensing.

·      If application is not selected, the applicant may resubmit in the next round.

Click on the link to learn more on how you can start up, expand, or maintain your family child care home.

Child Care openings in Alamosa and Rio Grande Counties

Are you looking for childcare? Is your child over two years old? We have family child care home providers who want to hear from you! There are multiple spots available in Alamosa County as well as Rio Grande County. Please contact Amanda Atencio at [email protected] for more information.

Opportunities with deadlines


Colorado Shines Quality Improvement Funds


Colorado Shines Quality Improvement funds are now available for licensed childcare programs that are rated at a Colorado Shines Level 1 or higher. Quality Improvement funds are allocated based on program type (center or home-based), the number of classrooms and Colorado Shines quality rating level.

If you need additional information please contact Monique Bosch at [email protected]

The Possibilities Are Now Possible-The Nonprofit Infrastructure (NPI) Grant Program-

**Deadline is August 31st!**

Receive up to $100,000 in funding. Apply by August 31, 2023.

With so many still struggling to recover from the pandemic, our communities need your aid now more than ever. Yet we know the pandemic set your organization back as well.


For us all to thrive again, we need you. So we’re here to accelerate your rebuild.


Through the Nonprofit Infrastructure (NPI) Grant Program, the State of Colorado has $33,100,000 in grants to award to non-profits to help expand their infrastructure and capacity. The Community Foundation of San Luis Valley is proudly collaborating with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to select recipients in our region and administer their grants. 


If your organization was impacted by the pandemic and operates with an annual budget between $150,000 and $2,000,000, we encourage you to apply before August 31, 2023. It’s easy and there is more than enough money to go around! 


Visit our website to learn how organizations qualify and how the funding may be used.

We are hiring!

We are hiring! To those who qualify and are interested, please email your cover letter and resume to [email protected] hiring! To those who qualify and are interested, please email your cover letter and resume to [email protected]

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ECCSLV considers requests based on relevance, capacity, and timeliness. We do not guarantee that all information will be shared.

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