Senator Story invited the following presenters
from the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) in the Colorado Department of
Human Services to the table: Mary Anne Snyder, Director of the Office of
Early Childhood, Mary Alice Cohen, Director of the Division of Community
and Family Support, Erin Mewhinny, Director of Early Care and Learning.
A copy of their presentation can be found as Attachment D. Ms.
Snyder explained that the OEC focuses on child maltreatment prevention
strategies, early childhood mental health, suspensions and expulsions,
the Early Intervention program, Head Start Collaborative, and the Home
Visiting program. Ms. Cohen discussed OEC's community and family
support programs, which can be divided into three types: early intervention,
family support, and transitions to school, which includes social-emotional
skills and ensuring a healthy start to school. Ms. Cohen discussed
early childhood mental health and told the commission about a new report
on suspensions and expulsions that includes recommendations about what
a mental health expert can do to mitigate suspensions and expulsions. She
discussed the Incredible Years (IY) program, which is delivered to pre-kindergarten
and kindegarten classrooms and supports classroom management for teachers
and a parenting program for families. She answered questions regarding
the need for additional funding and capacity for the IY program and went
into further detail on the Early Intervention program.