JI Foundations program offers professional development (PD) aligned with the Colorado Competencies for Early Childhood Educators and Professionals. Continuing education, including college classes, professional development courses, and training events, help professionals increase their knowledge and skills as they care for our community’s youngest learners. See more resources below.
Be sure to subscribe to our PD Update and EC News for details on future scholarship opportunities, or revisit this page for updates. Joint Initiatives/Foundations Career Navigators are here to help students navigate the path toward advancing their education and professional development goals. Students receiving funds for ECE courses through JI/Foundations are required to meet with the Career Navigator. Scholarships are first-come, first-serve. For more details, see the Resources section below.
Would you like to meet with a Career Navigator?
Joint Initiatives/Foundations has a Career Navigator available to help you determine the best early childhood career pathway, provide PDIS support, assist with college enrollment, answer CDA questions, offer portfolio support, and more!
Walk-in Office Hours: Office hours will be available on Wednesdays from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.
Download our Career Navigator Flyer for details on visiting our offices. (If you know someone interested in the field, send them to BuildMyECEcareer.com to learn more about early childhood in El Paso County and to get connected with a Career Navigator.)
See the sections below for training and other resources.
The Professional Development Information System is packed with free training and information to help you gain your Early Childhood Professional Credential and is a vital piece to becoming qualified for your position within the early childhood field.
There are several ways to meet the various requirements to work in the early childhood setting. Contact us to learn about the following qualifications:
- Teacher’s Aide/Assistant
- Lead Teacher
- Director Qualifications
- Infant/Toddler Supervisor
- Early Childhood Coach
- Credentialed Trainer
The 48-hour EQIT Curriculum provides a solid introduction to infant and toddler development, with a focus on providing quality group care for our youngest children. The EQIT course builds on the knowledge and experiences of infant and toddler caregivers through interesting, interactive and fun activities.
The EQIT Curriculum has been approved by the Division of Child Care as one of the classes that can be used for Early Childhood Teacher (formerly Group Leader) Qualifications AND will count toward the Infant Toddler class that will be required for Director Qualifications. Infant & Toddler teachers will have first priority in the classes; center directors will have second priority.
Registration for EQIT is now through PDIS.
Pyramid Plus Approach Training is a 46-hour course during which participants will learn specific strategies to enhance the social-emotional development of the children they work with, how and why to encourage inclusion, and how to better support children with challenging behavior.
For more about Pyramid and training opportunities, visit Healthy Child Care Colorado.
Pyramid Plus Approach training is currently being provided by The Edification Station.
The CDA credential is a key stone on the path of career advancement in Early Childhood Education.
- Career Boost Child Development Associates (CDA) Program: Get dates, learn more, and register here for the 2020-21 academic year. Courses are for adults (ages 17+) to build basic skills development and target those ready to seek employment in the field.
- The CDA statewide scholarship program applications are now open for teachers not yet ECT qualified. For more details, view the Red Rocks Community College CDA Flyer or go to rrcc.edu/childcareinnovations and click on the CDA Program tab. AFK offers scholarships towards the CDA as well. Follow scholarship link to apply.
- CDA Observation Waiver applicants should use this link to submit a CDA Observation Waiver Application. For more information on the CDA Observation Waiver, including background, process, and eligibility, click HERE. Also, please remember that CDA observations should not be occurring in person during this time.
Contact Geanina Brown for more information.
Quality Improvement (QI) coaching can be a key part of achieving your professional development goals as an early childhood educator. It is a safe space to reflect on your work and grow as a professional; focused on strengths you have and how to build on those; a place to talk about challenges you face in your workplace and brainstorm positive solutions; and can be personalized to your work environment, style of teaching, and areas of interest. Coaching is a way to earn points toward your professional credential in the Colorado Shines Professional Development Information System (PDIS) and earn point for your center. Most professional development opportunities come with the benefit of coaching.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Training
Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have lifelong impacts and influence health and well-being later in life. Come and learn about ACEs to better understand the link between what happens early in life and later outcomes.
- See those you work with through a different lens
- Reflect on how this information changes the way you interact with the
children and adults in your classrooms.
- Learn about caring for ourselves while providing trauma-informed care
- Explore next steps for our community
In an effort to take every precaution and prioritize health and safety, JI/Foundations I has put in place the following guidelines for all training, meetings, and professional development conducted in person.
In order to help child care professionals meet new and ongoing training requirements, the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) has developed a licensed child care provider required training tool. This tool covers all training requirements for professionals working in licensed child care centers and family child care homes, and provides information on which requirements each training meets and where the training is offered. The OEC is working hard to offer all required training for free online through the Professional Development Information System.
The PPSBDC offers training and consulting and is a great resource for early childhood education program owners and directors to connect with consultants, workshops, and resources related to running a successful small business.
Cooking Matters’ hands-on courses and interactive lessons empower parents and caregivers of children ages 0-5 with the skills to stretch their food dollars and cook healthy, nutritious meals.
Culture of Wellness in Preschools
Our Parent Wellness Workshops are aimed at promoting healthy lifestyle changes to all caregivers who have influence in the daily life of preschool-aged children. Our parent workshops are intentionally designed to be: engaging, interactive, fun and educational for adults. Evidenced-based and field-tested, our workshop series is designed to support families and reduce barriers to change. Parents are recruited and taught by trained, bilingual (English, Spanish) facilitators.
Motheread/Fatheread Colorado promotes early literacy for all young Colorado children, it particularly helps children of low-income families—often single-parent and/or striving to learn English as a second language—where quality interaction between parent and child is limited by poverty, overwork, stress,marginalization within the educational community and disenfranchisement from mainstream communities. Colorado Humanities provides Motheread training for educators who work with adults and children in a variety of settings including family resource centers, literacy centers, migrant services centers, public schools, and libraries.
For more information, visit their website.
For more information, visit their website.
Early Learning & Development Guidelines – Video Series
Education Information Sessions on Child Development and aligned with the Early Learning and Developmental Guidelines (ELDG).
- Click on the following link to use these ELDG videos with families that participate in your programming. Remember to collect sign-in sheets when providing these information sessions.
Social and Emotional Foundations of Early Learning
Peak Parent Center
Scholarships are first come, first serve, and all applications need to be complete before being considered for review.
- Assist Early Childhood Education Professionals in meeting Colorado’s Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) Qualification requirements (formally known as Group Leader).
- Assist Early Childhood Education Professionals in obtaining Director Qualifications through the Colorado Department of Human Services.
- Provide scholarships and support to Early Childhood Education Professionals working to obtain Associate and Bachelor’s Degrees in Early Childhood Education.
Scholarship Criteria for Applicants:
- Joint Initiatives/Foundations has scholarship dollars to support professionals entering the field of early childhood and those who are currently in the field and are working toward increasing their professional credentials.
- Live or work in El Paso County
- Licensed Family Child Care Provider Training Requirements
- Licensing Training Requirements for Early Childhood Centers
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® COLORADO Scholarship Program is administered by the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance. Contact Shannon Hall or call (720) 899-3047 or visit ECCLA’s website for program eligibility and application opportunities. At the beginning of 2022, the T.E.A.C.H. application was released online! It is easier than ever to apply for a scholarship. You can visit their website for more information or go to awards.ecclacolorado.org to apply.
- TEACH COLORADO SCHOLARSHIPS: Considering a career in early childhood? TEACH Colorado offers early childhood professionals a pathway to pursue higher education. Our partners at TEACH Colorado will help you apply with confidence. Sign up HERE today for a free account. First-time lead teachers can apply for the career stipend here if they sign up with TEACH Colorado before their hire date. Enroll in early childhood coursework, register for a qualifying pathway training/professional development, or get hired as an assistant ECE teacher to gain experience. If it’s on this list, it counts! Click here to fill out a brief application form for $50. We’ll send it your way (as long as you qualify!).
- BACK TO WORK: EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Family Child Care Resources
Home Network Happenings through Early Connections Home Network.
We support Family Child Care (FCC) Providers by offering:
- Technical Assistance and Coaching
- Professional Development Opportunities
- Materials Lending Library
- Business Efficiencies
- Assistance with Enrollment
- Partnerships to provide Early Head Start and Head Start Services
We have worked with FCC Providers for 19 years!
All of our coaches have Colorado Coaching Credentials and have been FCC Providers themselves!
Come join us!
For more information:
719.632.1754, Ext. 1014
FCCERS training is announced in our monthly PD Update newsletter. Be sure to subscribe HERE.
Health + Well-Being
- CU Anschutz is pleased to announce the Well-Being Support Line (303-724-2500), a free service for healthcare workers and educators — statewide. The support line is available via call or text from 9 AM to 7 PM (M-F) and on Saturday from 9 am to 12 pm. What should I expect when I call? When you call, you will be asked to leave a phone number, where a staffer will call or text you back. The line is staffed by volunteers who have some background in mental health and have been trained in crisis counseling. They will listen, offer ideas for problem-solving and self-care, or provide community resources. If you need more support or ongoing mental health care, the staff will help connect you with resources based on your needs. If immediate mental health support is needed, the staff will connect you with the Virtual Behavioral Health program or help you to access outside mental health services.
- Colorado Crisis Services: The hardest part about getting help for a mental health, substance use, or emotional issue is knowing where to begin – especially when an issue reaches a crisis point. Colorado Crisis Services provides free, confidential, and immediate help for any mental health, substance use, or emotional concern, 24/7/365. Call 844-493-TALK (8255) to speak with a trained professional who will provide immediate support and connect you, or someone you know, to further resources. Colorado Crisis Services is also a resource for case managers and all professionals connected with the child welfare system, Division of Youth Corrections, domestic violence victim services providers, and anyone working with at-risk families.
Visit website »
Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
- Are you struggling to meet the social-emotional or behavioral needs of a child birth to eight years of age?
- Would you like help creating a plan to decrease behavioral challenges and promote success at home or in the classroom?
- Is a child in your care at risk of being removed from a child care setting due to behavioral issues?
Beginning July 2021, all ECMH referral calls are routed to The Resource Exchange (TRE). TRE will assist you in determining if ECMH Consultation is the right fit. Call the referral line for more about these free services.
FREE ECMH Referral Line: 719.577.9190
By helping children to learn social and emotional skills, you can build stronger relationships with children and families. You can also reduce challenging behavior in children that you work with.
Our resources are intended to:
- Educate professionals about social-emotional development and early childhood mental health
- Offer tips on how to support healthy social-emotional development in early childhood programs
- Support communication and outreach to families
If a child’s behavior is unusual, investigate the possibility of past trauma. There is hope for children whose lives have been affected by trauma. You can change a child’s future by learning: types of events that young children find traumatic, symptoms of post-traumatic stress and ways to help children affected by trauma. There is also a screening tool.
Learning + Development
- The Early Learning and Development Guidelines (ELDG) websites include information in both English and Spanish with sections that will be tailored to each audience (family, provider or teacher, advocate) and allow site visitors to explore the Guidelines. The website features the following: visuals, template platform, interactive toolkit, and “share your story” option. Extensive time and energy have gone into the development of the ELDGs, as well as the website, and we are excited to get this valuable information into the hands of partners and families in communities statewide.
Visit English website »
Visit Spanish website »
Early childhood programs act as the bridge between preschool and kindergarten and are an essential resource for families who are navigating this transition. For resources that will help your program implement practices to ensure that families have the information they need and that children are ready for this big transition, please click on the button below to visit our Kindergarten page HERE.
- Bright by Text Partners With the National Wildlife Federation
Bright by Text is proud to partner with the National Wildlife Federation to bring simple and fun outdoor activities to caregivers via text. Outdoor forts, mud pits, fairy gardens, and more! Text BRIGHT to 274448 to get signed up and experience the joy of outside play!
- Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO) Training
Join ECHO team members and partners to learn best practices in outdoor spaces. We provide families, caregivers, early childhood professionals, and designers with content knowledge and practical skills to improve and enhance outdoor spaces at child care centers and homes. Visit the ECHO website for more training opportunities!
Guides to the Colorado Academic Standards: The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) in partnership with the Colorado PTA has created family guides to the Colorado Academic Standards. The guides are in English and Spanish and are helpful tools for communities across Colorado to better understand the goals and outcomes of the Colorado Academic Standards. The guides also provide overviews of the learning expectations for each grade and content area – providing examples of educational experiences that students can engage in during the school year with the support of their families and communities.
Colorado Department of Education: Through setting a clear vision for increasing student and overall system performance, CDE continually supports the advancement and improvement of the state’s education system to prepare all learners for success in a rapidly changing global workplace. We have clear goals related to student achievement, educator effectiveness, school/district performance and state agency operations – all aimed at preparing students for success after high school. The Expanded CDE Resource Bank provides quick and easy access to resources for Colorado educators that are designed to advance student learning through a focus on standards, assessments and educator effectiveness.
Safety + Emergency
Colorado law states the mandatory reporter shall immediately upon receiving such information report or cause a report to be made of such fact to the county department, the local law enforcement agency, or through the child abuse reporting hotline system. Knowingly making a false report is also punishable under law.
A mandatory reporter is defined as a professional who is obligated by law to report known or suspected incidents of child abuse and/or neglect. Mandatory reporters are part of the safety net that protects children and youth and have the ability to provide lifesaving help to child victims in our community. Any person specified in C.R.S. 19-3-304 is by law a mandatory reporter in Colorado. If a mandated reporter has reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect, or observed the child being subjected to circumstances or conditions that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect, the mandatory reporter shall immediately upon receiving such information report or cause a report to be made of such fact to the county department, the local law enforcement agency, or through the child abuse reporting hotline system.
Click below for an online toolkit providing informational materials and resources about prevention of child abuse and neglect. We greatly appreciate the public’s help in using these materials to continue to work together to build thriving communities that support healthy kids and strong families.
Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline – 1.800.264.5437 (CO-4-KIDS)
Are you a mandatory reporter of child abuse and neglect?
The Colorado Department of Human Services has created a web-based training for mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. Click here to take the free online training.
SafeCare Colorado is a carefully designed, voluntary, child abuse and neglect prevention program being implemented by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) in partnership with the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect. To date, the program has been implemented with two cohorts of sites across the state and the lessons we have learned from these sites continue to inform our implementation plan with Cohort 3 sites. Provider agencies interested in implementing SafeCare Colorado must be committed to supporting the implementation process, including the willingness to problem solve issues that may arise within the initial period until the program is fully sustainable.
Visit the Colorado School Safety Resource Center HERE for information.
The FEMA Emergency Management Institute offers a great online course:
IS-36: Multi-Hazard Planning for Childcare
There are five sessions to the course and you must allow time to complete the entire course – closing out will require you to begin a session again.
Session 1: 2 hours
Session 2: 30 minutes
Session 3: 40 minutes
Session 4: 20 minutes
Session 5: 10 minutes
There is final exam that will allow you to receive credit for taking the course.
Child Care Aware of America’s Emergency Preparedness team is launching an all new Disaster Response and Recovery Webinar Recordings for Child Care Resource & Referral organizations.
The goal of this series is to introduce Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) to partnering organizations who serve in a response/recovery capacity and to provide an overview on some of the resources available to help them better understand their role after disasters.
- Webinar 1: Coordination of Emergency and Respite Care Post Disasters
- Webinar 2: Helping Children and Families After Disasters
- Webinar 3: Supporting Social/Emotional Needs of Children Following Disasters
- Webinar 4: Addressing Post Disaster Financial and Resource Needs of Child Care Programs
For additional resources on Disaster Preparation please click here.
Cyber Bullying and Parents Guide: Elementary school bullying and high school harassment have been around for ages. Today, a new online crime is making itself more and more prevalent. More than 80% of teenagers use mobile phones, roughly 93% of college students engage on Facebook — and more than 50% of teenagers and adolescents have been bullied by others through cellular technologies and the Internet. Recent studies show that the distance created by the Internet might pose a threat to the development of in-person social skills and many adolescents use the Internet to make the lives of others miserable. Cyberbullying occurs when someone uses mobile technologies or the Web to deliberately embarrass, harass or hurt someone else. Grabel & Associates provides this guide detailing cyber-bullying along with resources for more information. (Providing this link does not imply any endorsement of their legal services.) You can visit their website below, and we have some additional links on this topic:
The Colorado Department of Early Childhood is excited to share the updated versions of the Business Guides For Early Care And Education Providers:
- Business Guide for Family Child Care Homes (en español)
- Business Guide for Child Care Centers (en español)
Click HERE for the information below in Spanish.
The updated guides offer family child care home providers and child care centers, as well as those interested in expanding or starting new programs, a collection of resources to strengthen their small businesses. Early care and education providers are essential to the children and families they serve, their communities, and our state. The Business Guides were developed and updated, through stakeholder focus groups and feedback, to make the business side of providing early care and education services easier.
The guides are in an easy-to-navigate digital format allowing users to click on hyperlinks to access the most up-to-date information on budgeting, regulatory compliance, and other operational functions of a small business. The guides are “living documents”, which are updated at least annually with new information or resources as they become available. We encourage those accessing the document to always follow the link to ensure they are accessing the most up-to-date version. As they are a compendium of existing resources, the guides will only be in a digital format. You can also access the guides on the Colorado Department of Early Childhood website under the “For Providers” tab by selecting “Support, Resources and Guides”.
- NEW Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado section: Program requirements, provider application information, and collection of helpful links.
- Updated CCCAP section: Program requirements, application process, and links to Provider Handbooks.
- Updated Head Start Suite of Services section: Program overview, eligibility information, and benefits.
- Human Resources: Health insurance, retirement, and the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program.
- Updated Time-limited Grant opportunities.
- Other business-related topics.
For each topic in the guides, we include key points family child care home and child care center providers should know or consider as small business owners. The topic sections include links to more information and resources if providers are interested in researching a topic in more detail.
Please forward this information to anyone who might be interested in the updated Business Guides for Early Care and Education Providers! If you are interested in a presentation on the guides or have any questions, please contact Marika Padilla at: Marika.Padilla@state.co.us.
These guides were developed pursuant to Colorado Shines Brighter Strategy 5.1.5.
To learn more about the relief options available for your business, visit the Small Business Administration website.
The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is dedicated to helping existing and new businesses grow and prosper in the Pikes Peak Region by providing free and confidential consulting and no- or low-cost training programs. The SBDC has a team of business experts ready to help you create and retain jobs, secure loans, increase sales, win government contracts, obtain certifications, and more.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has compiled online resources to provide information from NAEYC, the CDC, and other educational organizations. To visit the NAEYC website, click HERE.
The National Association for Family Child Care supports and leverages providers and partners in expanding and promoting the power of family child care.The NAFCC has tailored relevant business information for FCCPs on their website. To learn more about NAFCC, click HERE.
The Pikes Peak Workforce Center is the American Job Center serving El Paso and Teller Counties, connecting vital businesses with work-ready job seekers and employer-driven services.
Clients range from entry-level to professional, including youth, adults, people returning to the workforce, and those with barriers to employment. We provide job search and training opportunities, including 20 different job seeker workshops—ranging from basic computer use and resume preparation to LinkedIn, branding/networking and more—and always at no cost. We host the largest job fairs in Southern Colorado as well as weekly hiring events.
Learn more about free services at PPWFC.org.