Mary Anne Snyder, Director of the Colorado
Office of Early Childhood (office) in the Colorado Department of Human
Services, Erin Mewhinney, Director of Early Care and Learning, and
Mary Martin, Director of the Division of Community and Family Support,
came to the table to begin their presentation [Attachment D]. Ms.
Snyder discussed the history, purpose, and priorities of the office, which
include: school readiness, ensuring all children having a safe, stable,
and nurturing environment, and promoting resilience in early childhood.
She discussed home visitation programs, small infant and child mental
health work, head start collaborations, family wraparound services, and
early intervention. She discussed the importance of focusing on a
two-generation strategy approach to support both children and parents/caregivers.
She stated that the office is working on getting the lowest income
children into high-quality child care. Ms. Snyder explained that
one goal of the office is to increase access to high-quality early childhood
programs by increasing the percentage of level 3, 4, and 5 quality rated
licensed child care providers that rated through Colorado Shines. She
talked about importance of high-quality early childhood education in helping
break the cycle of poverty, reducing incarceration rates, and the need
for future services.