March 27th, 2023

Working Together for San Luis Valley Children and Families

Just as a tree needs a strong root system, a community needs strong roots through its people, spaces, and infrastructure in order to thrive. The Early Childhood Council of the San Luis Valley’s (ECC SLV) vision is one of a community where all members prioritize and invest in our children to build a thriving society. We know this vision cannot be achieved through our work alone, but through the collaboration and investment of our entire community in the San Luis Valley (SLV). Our community pillars cannot work in isolation, and we can no longer wait to build the infrastructure our community needs for our children and their families.

Everyone in the San Luis Valley depends on the health and wellbeing of our youngest residents and those who care for them. Child care keeps businesses running, families contributing, and provides a foundation of growth and success for our children. Our current child care system does not meet the needs of enough SLV children, families, or our economy. Many businesses are already feeling the pinch of losing employees and productivity because of child care issues.

Join the ECC SLV in efforts to improve well-being for everyone in our community.


Consider watching the film No Small Matter or The Raising of America to learn more about the impacts of child care in our country. These are available on Amazon and a DVD can be found at the SLV library or through ECC SLV.

No Small Matter will be showing at the Vali 3 Movie Theater in Monte Vista on April 6th! It is free and you get a complimentary small popcorn for attending!



Employee of the Month

Meet our employee of the month, Lindsey Witz! Lindsey is our LCO Resource and Referral Manager.

Lindsey started with the Council in November and has already become an invaluable assist to parents and providers as they navigate the new Universal Pre-K Program. In just four months she has:

  • Created a comprehensive marketing website including ensuring Spanish language inclusion in the site.
  • Assisted with more than 25 UPK Provider Support Sessions resulting in over 500 slots being available for program launch.
  • Assisted families with the application process tracking individual needs to resolution.
  • Helped dozens of families who have children affected by kindergarten cut-off dates before October 1st.
  • Managed all facets of the Bridgecare portal, troubleshooting both family and provider issues.
  • Maintained daily data on slot availability and applications across the San Luis Valley.
  • Worked after hours to be available for both providers and families.

To check out the website she created click on the button below.

If you need help with your application, give her a call at 719-214-6202! Remember matches will not go out to the first round of applications made before 2/24 until the end of March. We will keep you posted via the website when to expect subsequent matches as soon as we know when those will occur. 

Visit our UPK website

Dylan Brown Agency, Farmers Insurance, is doing the annual Easter Egg hunt at Cole Park in Alamosa the Saturday before Easter at 11:00 AM! If anyone wants to get involved as a vendor, they can contact Katrina (719) 588-6529, or Dylan (719) 588-3251. 

Health and Safety - Test and Fix Water for Kids

State law requires all licensed child care facilities to

test water for lead (HB22-1358). This is a one-time

screening and not part of an annual inspection.

The deadline to complete testing is May 31, 2023. We

recommend signing up by May 1, 2023, as it takes

several weeks to complete testing.

To see a full size version of the below flyer with clickable links, click here

March is National Nutrition Month

March is national Nutrition Month and it is celebrating its 50th year! During the month of March, everyone is invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits. Follow the link to see additional resources on nutrition and money saving tips when buying fresh produce.

Do you or someone you know need diapers? We can help!

The following organizations have partnered with us as distribution centers, if you’re in need of diapers you can access a box of diapers and wipes at any of the following locations.


  • Alamosa County - La Puente located at 913 State Ave. Alamosa CO

  • Conejos County - Department of Human Services located at 12989 County Rd G.6 in Antonito CO

  • Saguache County- Public Health located in Center and Saguache

  • Costilla County – Blanca Community Center located at 17591 E. Hwy 160, Blanca CO


We are also looking for partners to become a distribution center, if you are interested, please contact Ramona Silva at 719-937-4010.

Positive Solutions for Families

Seedlings classes for parents of child 0-5 are in effect. Self-care items and incentives are available. For parents wanting more information, please contact Kathryn Trujillo at [email protected] or Erica Cervantez at [email protected] or 719 480-9715.

Parents As Teachers

(For Families with children pre-natal to age 5)

Parent as teachers is a voluntary and free program that provides practical, effective help for families residing within Alamosa, Costilla, Conejos, and Saguache counties with children pre-natal to kindergarten entry. It offers:

PAT Model Components

  • Personal Visits 
  • Group Connections
  • Resource Network
  • Child Screening


Personal Visits


Personal Visits Parent educators use the PAT Foundational Curriculum to provide families with consistent research based, evidence-driven information. Parents can then use what they learn to create safe and nurturing environments for their children. Personal visits are customized to the family and children by considering the children’s developmental stages, the family’s culture, languages spoken in the home, needs, interests, and learning styles. Personal visits are designed to support parents in recognizing and expanding upon their strengths and protective factors. During visits, parent educators coach parents in developing their observation skills and responsiveness through activities that strengthen parent-child interactions. Further, they partner with parents to identify and enhance parenting behaviors while exploring key developmental topics. PAT personal visits are delivered to the family as a unit by addressing all children enrolled within a single visit. In cases where the family is expecting their first child, visits should take place with the expecting parents. 

If this sounds like something you would like to participate in, please click on the link below or contact Esther Vasquez at [email protected]

I would like to join Parents as Teachers


What is Coaching?

“Coaching is helping people increase their sense of self-direction, self-esteem, efficacy and achievement.” -Cox & Ledgerwood

“Coaching is the process of challenging and supporting a person or a team to develop ways of being and ways of learning.”-Berg & Karlsen)


Did you know...

Early Childhood Infant and Toddler Coaches must hold a Colorado Coaching Credential. This means many hours of learning, training, reflecting, and practicing the unique skills involved in classroom support coaching with teachers and directors in programs serving one of our most valuable assets, young children birth to five.

This means being versed in many resources and coaching methods in order to meet teachers where they are. 


Coaches look to the following competencies as guidance for providing capacity building coaching and professional development for Early Childhood staff. Click on each link below for helpful tools and resources.


Reflective Coaching and Practice-Based Coaching are two of the most effective coaching methods we have experienced when it comes to building positive relationships and encouraging effective change in teacher practices.


“The coach’s ultimate goal is sustained performance in which the coaching partner has the competence and confidence to engage in self-reflection, self-correction and generalization of new skills and strategies to other situations as appropriate.” -Rush & Sheldon

Free In-Person Trainings - Evidence Based Public Health

Ideal for: Professionals working in Public Health, Mental Health, Public Policy, and Global Health. Register before 4/19/2023.

Click here for more details on the course

Free In-Person Trainings - Register Today!

In partnership with the Colorado Department of Early Childhood, Early Milestones is leading the Community Innovation and Resilience for Care and Learning Equity (CIRCLE) Initiative. This initiative will provide nearly $23 million in grants to child care providers and other community, education, or governmental partners pursuing innovative solutions to challenges worsened by the pandemic.

Click here for more details about each course

Additional 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

Register Today for a Virtual Training

& Join the Conversation!

Illuminate Colorado invites you to The Substance Use Conversation Guide is a tool for professionals that provides direction on strengths-based conversations with families on substances and substance use, including sections on safe storage, safe and engaged caregiving, and the Protective Factors. Safe storage bags, family handouts – available in both English & Spanish – accompany the Conversation Guide to support professionals in starting and continuing these conversations. This training addresses the concepts found in the Conversation Guide, and also explores stigma, bias, boundaries, screening tools, and resource/referral options. Following training, participants will have access to all materials and ongoing consultation and support from Illuminate Colorado.

Register here

The Myth of School Readiness-A webinar

Early education is all about preparing young children for school, right? Or is it? Join me for a provocative discussion about school readiness. Is it really the end all and be all of early learning? Ready for what? Can we accurately assess readiness? Does school readiness even exist? Or is it a myth — a story that frames the way we think of children and their early learning needs? What does science have to say about school readiness? Is the concept helpful or detrimental? What alternatives are there for thinking about young children’s early learning?

Join this webinar to:

  • Analyze the term “school readiness” and what it means in the field of early learning.
  • Question the benefits of assessing young children’s readiness.
  • Explore how myths serve as large-scale societal frameworks that can hamper new ways of thinking.
  • Identify equitable and regenerative narratives for early learning and compare them with the school readiness myth.
  • Choose ways to disrupt models of school readiness that reinforce systemic racism and inequities.


All sessions are 1.5 hours long and include a brief announcement from our sponsor.

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern Time.

To ensure you receive confirmation and reminder emails, add [email protected] to your contacts list. If you do not receive your email confirmation, check your Spam or Junk mail folders in your email system.

Register here

Opportunities with deadlines

Merit Awards/Quality Incentive (bonus $) are available for licensed providers who were in operation on March 11th, 2021, and are interested in increasing a Colorado Shines quality level. The deadline is September 30, 2023 or until funds are no longer available. For more information, click here.

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

The Early Childhood Council of the San Luis Valley Governing Board is seeking a legal representative!

If you are interested in this position and are an attorney at law, please submit your letter of interest and resume to Sherri.

The Sargent Early Learning Center (SELC) in Monte Vista, CO is hiring an Executive Director!

The SELC is a nonprofit childcare center that offers daycare and preschool programs. The Executive Director is responsible for providing a developmentally appropriate program for children ages 12 months to 5 years old, program accountability, financial management of the SELC, staff development, and parental involvement activities.

Click here for more details and how to apply!

Research Services Clinical Sciences Professional Open Rank (Part-time .50 FTE) Family Medicine 

Part time position with the University of Colorado (AMC), located in the SLV. Job duties are associated with work through the Department of Family Medicine, focusing primarily on community engaged research projects, most dedicated within primary care but also including other community organizations.

Great pay, good benefits, really flexible!

Full job description here

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