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Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance

ECCLA advocates for and strengthens the accessibility, quality, and equity of local services and supports through a responsive statewide system of Early Childhood Councils, to benefit Colorado’s young children, their families, and early childhood professionals.

Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) was initially formed in 1998 as an informal collaborative among Early Childhood Councils to support each other, align efforts, communicate grant management information, share best practices, and provide local input to state policy decisions. In 2012, because of changes to the statewide system, Councils identified the need to develop an independent support organization. As a result, ECCLA was established in 2013 as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and in 2014 launched formally as a membership association.

Today, ECCLA is a collective impact leader with strong relationships among all of Colorado’s 34 Early Childhood Councils who serve 63 of 64 counties. We are a collective voice and statewide hub which leverages the expertise and network of Early Childhood Councils to advance shared outcomes for young children, families, and the early childhood workforce.

As the membership association for Early Childhood Councils, we provide technical assistance and capacity building, leverage policy and advocacy, scale innovation, improve workforce supports for early childhood professionals, advance collective impact, and facilitate partnerships. In collaboration with Early Childhood Councils, our efforts enable us to effectively align, leverage, scale, and lead solutions that contribute to building and supporting Colorado’s robust early childhood system.

Programs Offered to Support the Early Childhood Workforce

ECCLA's workforce supports for early childhood professionals include the Family Child Care Home Improvement Grant, The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Colorado Scholarship and the Back to Work: Early Childhood Education Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) Scholarship Program.

Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant focuses on addressing the declining number of licensed slots within family child care homes by providing facility improvement funding to family child care homes. This opportunity is intended to help family child care homes start up, expand, or maintain consistent operations, increase capacity and reduce the number of family child care homes closing their doors due to financial restrictions.

T.E.A.C.H Early Childhood® Colorado Scholarship Program is affiliated with the national Teacher Education and Compensation Helps Early Childhood® initiative of the Child Care Services Association, and we hold the state license to offer scholarships in Colorado. This scholarship offers early childhood education program directors and teachers a pathway to pursue higher education. Access to scholarships for early childhood education is a critical piece to a successful professional development pathway.

Back to Work: Early Childhood Education Scholarship Program The Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative funds providers across the state to support workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and provide Coloradans support in accessing and completing their credential or degree in early childhood education and get Back to Work!

Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Program provides career counseling and tuition support to early childhood professionals in rural communities seeking to reskill, upskill, or next-skill. This scholarship offers early childhood professionals a pathway to pursue early childhood credentials through colleges and other entities.

The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) is an equal opportunity scholarship and grant provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, military status, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in any of its activities or operations.

Back to Work: Early Childhood Education Scholarship Program


Have you been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you thinking of starting or continuing college in an undergraduate Early Childhood degree/certificate program in Colorado? Our organization is proud to partner with the CColorado Department of Higher Education’s COSI program to help provide the education and training you need for your next job in the Early Childhood field, through the new Back to Work Grant! 

The Colorado Recovery Plan expands the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) grant to support Coloradans that have experienced an economic loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as lost or adverse changes in employment, increased food or housing insecurity, had to withdraw from college after March 13, 2020, or suffered another form of economic loss.


Supports Offered

Participants will receive a one-time scholarship award, up to $2,500! Funds can be spread across your entire degree or certificate, so you can save them for when you need them. Funds can also be used to cover a variety of expenses, including:

  • Tuition costs and any fees related to admission or enrollment
  • Books and supplies (including up to $1,000 towards the cost of a personal computer)
  • Living expenses defined as A: housing, food, clothing, transportation and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, for students who do not contract with a school for room and board, and B: the cost of room and board, an allowance for the cost of housing and food while attending college or career school)
  • Transportation costs to/from classes
  • Student loan fees
  • Child Care or other dependent care
  • Costs related to a disability

Additionally, participants are offered the following supports:

  • Support in enrollment, registration, understanding the total cost of obtaining your degree, FAFSA, CASFA, financial aid, scholarships, and more!
  • Support in navigating institutional barriers, academic hurdles, and social, wellness, familial, and personal concerns
  • 1:1 support to ensure progression toward the completion of your credential/degree
  • Support in connecting to resources, careers, and transitioning back into the workforce


Eligibility Guidelines

Participants must meet the following criteria and complete a credential/degree by June 2024:

  • Student experienced an economic loss within the last 2 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as lost or adverse changes in employment, increased food or housing insecurity, had to withdraw from college after March 13, 2020, or suffered another form of economic loss.
  • Student is seeking to enroll or already enrolled in an undergraudate degree or certificate program related to the Early Childhood field
  • Student is enrolled (or plans to enroll) at a Colorado Public Institution of Higher Education
  • Student can complete degree/certificate by June 30, 2024
  • Student is a Colorado resident with in-state tuition and has an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 14614 or less, as determined by the FAFSA or CASFA. To learn more about the EFC requirement, click here.
  • Please Note: If you are already receiving a Back to Work Scholarship or another Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) Scholarship, you are not eligible to receive this scholarship award.


Your online application will be submitted using SSL encryption which ensures your application information is 100% secure.


The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) is an equal opportunity scholarship provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, military status, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in any of its activities or operations. Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students are welcome to apply!

For more information about the Back to Work Scholarship, download the Information Flyer

Apply Now!
Before you apply, gather the following documents:
Proof of Admission to College, Unofficial Transcripts, and Verification of FAFSA/CASFA. 

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Colorado Scholarship Program


Early childhood professionals who have higher education have been shown to have a better understanding of child development and to be more responsive to the educational and academic needs of young children.

The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Colorado Scholarship Program offers early childhood education program directors and teachers a pathway to pursue higher education. Access to scholarships for early childhood education is a critical piece to a successful professional development pathway.

We are affiliated with the national Teacher Education and Compensation Helps Early Childhood® initiative of the Child Care Services Association, and we hold the state license to offer scholarships in Colorado.

The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) is an equal opportunity scholarship provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, military status, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in any of its activities or operations. Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students are welcome to apply!

Eligibility

Early childhood education professionals including directors, teachers, and family child care providers who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply.

  • Live and work in Colorado 
  • Employed full-time* in a licensed early childhood setting defined as:
    • 20+ hours a week if working towards Early Childhood Teacher or Director qualifications
    • 30+ hours a week if working towards an associated or bachelor's degree
  • Meet income guidelines**:
    • As an owner or director, earning $35 per hour or less
    • As teaching professionals, earning $25 per hour or less

*Exceptions may be made for programs that do not operate on a full day schedule

**Exceptions may be made for rural resort counties

Scholarship Models

The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Colorado Scholarship Program offers different models that are tailored to early childhood workforce needs across the state. These models will use the same scholarship application, but you will need the corresponding model's Center Participation Agreement. Please ensure you are filling out the correct forms. For assistance, please contact Dallas Brown or Shannon Hall 

  • Early Childhood Credential Model
  • Director Qualification's Model
  • Associate Degree Model
  • Bachelor's Degree Model
Early Childhood Community Specialist Scholarship

The Early Childhood Community Specialist Scholarship is a model for early childhood professionals who do not work in licensed care settings. This can include Council staff, substitute teachers, home visitors, coaches and more. If you have questions about this model please contact Shannon Hall.

Eligibility
  • Live and work in the early childhood profession in Colorado
  • Not currently working in a licensed early care program
  • Employed number of hours required by each model (20-40+)
  • Meet income guidelines
  • Accepted to an accredited Colorado College
  • Applied for FAFSA or CASFA
  • For the Bachelor's and Master's Models:
    • Have completed the required number of credits:
      • Bachelor's Degree Model: 60+
      • Master's Degree Model: 120+
Early Childhood Community Specialist Models
  • Credential/Certificate
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Master's Degree

Renewal Application

For current T.E.A.C.H. recipients renewing their T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship under the same model they are currently on, please click here to complete the Renewal Application. Once the application is completed, please email to Shannon Hall.

For current T.E.A.C.H. recipients renewing their T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship under a different model, please complete a new application by clicking below.

⇒ If you are having problems getting employer support for our traditional scholarship models, please reachout to Shannon Hall or Dallas Brown to explore other offers that may be available to you.

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Colorado is a licensed program of Child Care Services Association

Apply Now!
Before you apply, gather the following documents:
Proof of Admission to College, Unofficial Transcripts, Verification of FAFSA/CASFA, Current Paystub, Center Participation Agreement, Center Profile, PDIS Registration Verification.

Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant


The majority of Colorado children are cared for in home environments. According to a 2015 report by the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, between 2011 to 2015 the number of licensed family child care home programs decreased by 15%. There are many reasons for this decrease, including a stronger economy with better paying jobs available and increasing child care regulations or local regulations that provide challenges the opening of family child care homes (e.g. adoption of the universal building codes by cities and towns).

To address the declining number of licensed slots within family child care home programs and to improve quality within home-based learning environments, the Buell Foundation, along with the Daniels Fund, granted funds to the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) to provide facility improvement funding to family child care home providers. This opportunity is intended to help family child care home providers start up, expand, or maintain consistent operations, increase capacity and reduce the number of family child care homes closing their doors due to financial restrictions.

The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) is an equal opportunity grant provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, military status, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in any of its activities or operations.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a licensed family child care home program.
  • The program can have for-profit or non-profit status.
  • Funds must be used to serve children from birth to 5 years of age.
  • Funds must be utilized to address health, safety, or licensing issues through physical improvements to a facility’s learning environments to maintain or increase capacity.
  • Funds cannot be used for retirement of debt, salaries, consultants, COVID related expenses, or reimbursement of projects already completed.
  • Applications requesting $2,500 or more must own the facility or provide a letter support from their landlord.
  • The maximum amount requested is $5,000.
  • Applicant must complete all fields of application and submit all required supporting documentation including ‘before’ photos.
  • A family child care home program may receive only one Family Child Care Home Facilities Grant during a 12-month period.
  • If awarded, recipient 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 opening a new family child care home program, applicant must be in the pre-licensing stage or have completed pre-licensing.
  • If an application is not selected, the applicant may be resubmitted in the next round.
  • All Family Child Care Home Improvement Applications must be submitted online in order to be considered for funding. Paper applications will not be accepted at this time.

Funding Priorities

The funding priorities for the Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant Include:

  1. Statewide geographic distribution
  2. Addressing unmet service gaps, and
  3. Increasing capacity and access to family child care home programs. In addition, priority will be given to applicants that serve vulnerable families and children

This funding opportunity is not intended to support the loss of revenue due to COVID-19 or other COVID-19 related costs. If you have questions regarding your request, please contact Shannon Hall.

Required Documentation

  • The Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant Application.
  • A copy of the current and legible license issued by the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Early Childhood unless you are in the pre-licensing process in which case you will need to submit documentation of the process including a copy of pre-licensing paperwork speaking to barriers or hurdles you may be facing.
  • At least three ‘before’ photos documenting the project before work has started.
  • If applicants rent their space, and are requesting $2,500 or more in funding, they must unclude a letter of support from landlord.
  • At least two project bids (this can be two bids for the same project to show all considerations made due to cost or other factors)

Technical Assistance Webinars

During each application round, ECCLA will host two optional technical assistance webinars to provide information and answer questions about the Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant. The webinars will be recorded and posted on the ECCLA website. To learn more, register for a webinar or listen to a recording, please visit our website www.ecclacolorado.org/fcchgrant

If you have questions about the Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant, please read our Frequently Asked Questions. You may also contact Shannon Hall, Director of Workforce Supports.


Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Program


The Rural Reskilling, Upskilling, Next-skilling (R.U.N.) Scholarship Program provides career counseling and tuition support to early childhood professionals in rural communities seeking to reskill, upskill, or next-skill. Wondering what these terms mean? Keep reading to learn more!

On June 23, 2021, Colorado House Bill 21-1264 was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis. The bill appropriated $75 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan through the SLFRF program to support talent development. This Bill created the stimulus investments in reskilling, upskilling, and next-skilling workers program as an initiative of the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) to facilitate training for unemployed and underemployed workers in the state during times of substantial unemployment. This Bill appropriated funds and directed the CWDC to use these funds to support individuals in need of:

  • Reskilling, which supports unemployed and underemployed workers to change industries in order to return to work or obtain more appropriate work based on their skills;
  • Upskilling, which assists workers in increasing skill levels to retain or advance in their employment; or
  • Next-skilling, which supports workers in developing future-ready skills necessary for employment in the twenty-first century.

The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) is an equal opportunity scholarship provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, military status, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in any of its activities or operations. Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students are welcome to apply!

Eligibility Guidelines


Participants must meet the following criteria:

  • Participant meets the age requirement of 16 or older
  • Participant resides in an area covered by the Rural Workforce Consortium
    • Including Eastern Sub-Area, Southeast Sub-Area, Pueblo Sub-Area, Upper Arkansas Sub-Area, South Central Sub-Area, Western Sub-Area, Southwest Sub-Area, Rural Resort Sub-Area, and Northwest Sub-Area (the Broomfield Sub-Area is not an eligible sub-area)
  • Participant is unemployed and available for work in the early childhood field (this includes those who have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months) OR is currently employed but seeking to move to a job within the early childhood field that provides better opportunities for career advancement
  • Participant experienced an economic loss within the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as lost or adverse changes in employment, increased food or housing insecurity, had to withdraw from college after March 13, 2020, or suffered another form of economic loss OR participant currently qualifies for any of the following federal assistance programs:
    • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
    • Childcare Subsidies through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Program
    • Medicaid
    • National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) – for affordable housing programs only
    • Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) – for affordable housing programs only
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Free and Reduced-Price Lunch (NSLP) and/or School Breakfast (SBP) programs
    • Medicare Part D Low-income Subsidies
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Head Start and/or Early Head Start
    • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
    • Section 8 Vouchers Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
    • Pell Grants

Your online application will be submitted using SSL encryption which ensures your application information is 100% secure

Scholarship Models


The Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Program works with several early childhood credential programs:

  • ECE Entry Certificate or Entry-Level Teacher Certificate
  • ECE Assistant Teacher Certificate
  • Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential
    • Infant-Toddler
    • Preschool
    • Family Child Care
  • Early Childhood Teacher Certificate
  • Infant Nursery Supervisor Certificate or Infant/Toddler Supervisor Certificate
  • Coaching Credential Director Certificate Aim4Excellence™ National Director Certificate

Supports Offered


Participants will receive a one-time scholarship award applicable towards the cost of their credential. Additionally, participants are offered the following supports:

  • Career counseling and support
  • 1:1 support to ensure progression toward the completion of your credential
  • Support in connecting to resources, careers, and transitioning back into the workforce

Apply Now!

Process


Before Applying, Gather Documents:
Documents Required for the Back to Work: Early Childhood Education Scholarship Application:
Proof of Admission to College, Unofficial Transcripts, Verification of FAFSA/CASFA.

Documents Required for the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Colorado Scholarship Application:
 Proof of Admission to College, Unofficial Transcripts, Verification of FAFSA/CASFA, Center Participation Agreement, Center Profile, Current Paystub, PDIS Registration Verification.

Documents Required for the Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Application (ONLY NEEDED IF YOUR CREDENTIAL INVOLVES COLLEGE COURSES): Proof of Admission to College, Unofficial Transcripts, Verification of FAFSA/CASFA

1. Register

Click on the "Register" link and complete and submit the registration form.

2. Login

Login to the award with your email and password.

3. Create

Create your online application. Your online application will be submitted using SSL encryption which ensures your application information is 100% secure.

4. Save

During the Call for Applications period, your application can be saved as DRAFT until all the required information is completed and attachments uploaded. As each section is complete, you will see a appear in the category tab when the application is saved. At any time, you can download and print your application by clicking on the icon in the Application Summary section.

5. Submit

On completion, save your Application as FINAL. Download and print a copy of your application for your records by clicking on the icon in the Application Summary section in the right column. Note: If an update is required prior to the Call for Applications period, you can make the update and resave as FINAL.

If you require assistance or additional information for the Back to Work: Early Childhood Education Scholarship Program OR the Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Program, please contact Cameron Fall

If you require assistance or additional information for the Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant OR the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Colorado Scholarship Program, please contact Shannon Hall

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Contact Us

Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance
4891 Independence Street, Suite 140
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Phone: 720 588 2840
Email:   info@ecclacolorado.org