Dear San Luis Valley Community,

WELCOME to the Early Childhood Council of the San Luis Valley (ECC SLV) electronic communication! Do you want to stay informed about what is happening in early childhood? This resource will provide up-to-date information on:

  • Resources for families with young children.
  • Opportunities available for the early childhood workforce.
  • Funding prospects for child care service providers.
  • How child care services impact our local economy and policy issues.
  • The new Colorado Department of Early Childhood updates.
  • National & Global climate on early childhood.
  • And much more!

We plan to blast this communication out to you 1 or 2 times per month. We will use this venue to communicate with the community and therefore, you will NOT be receiving emails with general updates in the future.

You are receiving this information because you have already subscribed, we currently have your email on one of our listservs, or someone is sharing it with you.

IF you have NOT ALREADY SUBSCRIBED, hit the subscribe button below to continue receiving this regular electronic communication.

The ECC SLV appreciates each one of you and we are thankful for all you do for children, families and our community!

Sherri A. Valdez, Executive Director

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Universal Preschool (UPK) Updates

Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado ensures that every child in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten is eligible for half-day (15 hours) of state-funded, voluntary preschool beginning in the 2023-23 school year. Three-year-olds with qualifying factors are also eligible for part-time (10 hours) of preschool programming. The program just opened to families who can log into the system and choose from a menu of participating providers. The Early Childhood Council is your local coordinating organization tasked with helping both providers and families access this new resource. If you would like to enroll your child for the fall, or hear about program requirements, please click on the link below. If you are interested in becoming a provider, or have other questions please reach out to the staff managing local implementation at [email protected] (Bryan Lindert) or [email protected] (Lindsey Witz). 

**IMPORTANT: To participate in the first round of matching, please have your applications completed by February 10th. **

The next LCO Advisory Council Meeting will be held virtually on February 16th at 3:30PM.

Visit our UPK website

Parents As Teachers

For Families with children pre-natal to age 5


Parents 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 prenatal to kindergarten entry. It offers:

Personal Visits – A certified Parent Educator helps you understand each stage of your child’s development and offers practical tips on ways to encourage learning.

Group Connections - PAT group connections provide times for parents to get together, to gain new insights and to share experiences, common concerns, and successes.

Screenings - PAT offers periodic screening of overall development, language, hearing, and vision.

Referral Network - PAT helps families link with special services or outside agencies, if needed.

If this program sounds like something you would like to participate in, please click the link below for more information and complete the enrollment form!

I would like to join Parents as Teachers

Employer Based Child Care Grant

Families in Colorado face a number of challenges accessing child care, including long wait lists, limited locations near work or home, or no local licensed child care options. These issues may worsen with increased demand for care as families return to work, population growth, and the implementation of Universal Preschool. This grant will help address these issues and build more child care capacity by providing up to $800,000 per award to support non-child care entities in constructing, remodeling, renovating, or retrofitting a child care center for its employees.

Who should apply?

Any non-child care entity, who is planning to construct, remodel, renovate, or retrofit a child care center on or near its property to provide high-quality, licensed child care to its employees.

What can the funds be used for?

Providers who apply may budget work paid by the CDEC in the following categories:

  • Administrative expenses
  • These expenses must be incurred during the process of building and opening a child care center; ongoing operational costs will not be covered
  • Contractor/consultant expenses
  • Construction materials & operating expenses

What is the application process?

Eligible entities can find the link to the application on the State of Colorado Vendor Self Service website. The application will be open for 30 days.

Join the SLV Early Childhood Stakeholders Advisory Group to get involved – our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday February 7th at 8:00am via Zoom. Contact Sherri Valdez for more information at 719-937-4010. 


The Fall 2022 EQIT course was completed on December 19, 2022 with nine participants successfully completing the 16 module, 48 hour course and three students completing the EQIT course in addition to completing ECE 111 for three college credits through Trinidad State College.  


Although Cindy Harris retired from coaching, she will continue providing Social Emotional Skill Building strategies via Pyramid Refresher Courses throughout the year – More details to come!

Early Head Start Teacher Connections and Schedule for 2023

Reminder: EHS Teacher Connections are scheduled for the 3rd Friday every other month from 8:00-12:00.   

  • February 17
  • April 21
  • June 16

Brain Power

Babies are born with 100 billion neurons and the connections form at a rapid speed in the first 5 years of life! Those connections are created through every interaction a child has. Talking builds brains!

Watch the Brain Power video

We have a rewarding career opportunity and financial supports for you! 


  • Do you have a passion for teaching and supporting the healthy development of infants, toddlers, and young children? 
  • Are you interested in working from the convenience of your home? 
  • Do you want to start your own business?  
  • Would you like to teach preschool at YOUR site for the new Universal Preschool (UPK) program? 

The Early Childhood Council of the San Luis Valley will be offering an orientation on how to become a licensed family child care home provider. 

This will take place on Tuesday, February 7th, from 5:00-6:00 pm via Zoom. We will cover the process, the cash incentives, grants, UPK and other key points for licensing. Contact us to register or if you have any questions. 

Please call the Council at 719-937-4010, email Amanda Atencio at [email protected].

Watch our video

The Early Childhood Council of the San Luis Valley has connections and resources to help our community members build their knowledge in Early Childhood Education. If you are interest, please click the link below for more information.

Scholarships, Resources, Grants & Trainings

The Emerging and Expanding (E&E) Grant is now open!!

This grant was created for the purpose of expanding access and availability of licensed child care throughout Colorado and especially in areas where there are child care deserts.


Funding for the Emerging and Expanding Child Care Grant (E & E) is administered through the Colorado Department of Early Childhood as authorized through Colorado Senate Bill 22-213, which is funded by Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which aims to support families and invest in long-term growth and opportunity. Federal requirements and compliance will apply. The E & E grant application will be open until March 3. Those interested in applying can review CDEC's frequently asked questions.

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]

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