March 6th, 2023

Universal Preschool (UPK) Updates

The ECC is happy to report we have over 500 slots in the San Luis Valley for the new UPK program and the family portal is live! The following email link provides information on how to access the program, eligibility for additional hours, and contact information if you are having any trouble with the application or choosing a site. All school districts in the valley are in the application system, plus many other providers such as childcare centers and family childcare homes. Families who completed their application prior to the February 24th should be contacted with the match to their provider by the beginning of April. Applications are rolling, however, and families can apply at any time. Please check out our local website via the button 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). 

Visit our UPK website
Click here to determine your eligibility
Haga clic aquí para determinar su elegibilidad

Health and Safety - Clean air for schools

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recently announced the Clean Air for Schools program. Clean Air for Schools provides free high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter portable air cleaners and associated supplies, such as replacement HEPA filters, to improve indoor air quality as a mitigation measure for exposure to respiratory viruses such as COVID-19, flu, and RSV, as well as other pollutants and pathogens that contribute to asthma, allergies, and other chronic respiratory illnesses. The program is currently open to all licensed daycares, child care facilities, preschools, and Head Start programs, in addition to K-12 schools. Facilities are encouraged to apply by March 31 to ensure timely delivery of the air cleaners.

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.

Colorado Children's Campaign

HB23-1118 would require employers in food, beverage, and retail with 250 or more employees to provide predictable scheduling and minimum weekly pay for their employees. The Children’s Campaign supports this bill because unpredictable work hours negatively impact families’ economic security, mental health, and stress. Unpredictable schedules result in unstable incomes that make it difficult for families to plan their finances and arrange childcare during work hours. 


For more Information on what is happening in the Senate click here

Education - A Brief Overview of Early Intervention Colorado

Colorado’s Early Intervention program provides supports and services to children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families from birth until the child’s third birthday. Early Intervention Colorado can help families learn ways to support and promote their child’s development within their everyday routines and activities.


Research shows that the first three years of a child’s life are the most important time for developing and learning. By providing needed services and supports during this time, families will be able to help their children with special needs develop to their full potential, and may decrease the need for additional help later in life.


The Early Intervention Colorado program bases its foundation of support on seven guiding key principles. They are a way to talk about how services are provided and delivered to the families we support. They include being family-centered, focusing on children’s learning in their natural environment, adult learning and quality teaming.


Learn more about the key principles and start exploring what Early Intervention can do for families.  

Positive Solutions for Families

Seedlings classes for parents of child 0-5 are scheduled to begin early March. 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 at

719 480-9715.

Mental Health:

A Journey to Optimal Well-Being

You are invited to a mental health event on March 18th, 2023 hosted by VFS Prep (Nathaniel and Jacci Cradle) and featuring speakers Franita Ware and Constant Hines. This event is free for early childhood professionals. Please click here for full size flyer showing more information about the sessions, location, and how to RVSP.

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:

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 screenings of overall development, language, hearing, and vision. 

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

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


Did You Know...

Providing Positive Teacher-Child Interactions Enhances the Quality of Relationships in Center-Based Infant and Toddler Care Settings?

The Teaching Pyramid Infant-Toddler Observation Scale (TPITOS) is an assessment tool used to measure the fidelity of practices related to the Pyramid Model in Infant and Toddler care settings. The Pyramid Model is a multi-tiered framework focusing on Effective Workforce, Nurturing and Responsive Relationships, High-Quality Supportive Environments, Targeted Social-Emotional Supports and Intensive Intervention

Click the here and learn about the Pyramid Model in more detail. 


This assessment tool provides a snapshot of the classroom environment and adult behaviors associated with supporting and promoting social and emotional development for infants and toddlers (birth to 3 years). 

Early Head Start Classroom Support Coaches use the TPITOS to observe and discuss care practices with classroom care teachers, gather data and use the data to support and encourage high quality classroom environments, interactions between adults and children and provide universal strategies for all children through monthly classroom support coaching and reflective coaching.


Refer to this handout to learn some strategies that support some of the TPITOS observational items around responding to children’s expression of emotions and teaching about feelings.

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

Do you have a passion for teaching and developing infants, toddlers and young children? Would you like to teach preschool under the new Universal Preschool (UPK) program? Are you interested in working from the convenience of your home? Do you want to start your own business? If so, we have rewarding career and financial supports for you! Call to set up an appointment today! We'll explain the process, UPK, the cash incentives, grants and other key points for licensing.

Contact us if you have any questions at 719-937-4010 or email Amanda Atencio at [email protected].

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!

Opportunities with deadlines

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.


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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