COLORADO The Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) granting $21.5 million to Community Innovation and Resilience for Care and Learning Equity (CIRCLE) grants.

Bonnie Rouse Caputo, CDEC Stimulus Grants Manager, said these funds target child care challenges faced from the pandemic.

“The purpose of these grants is for providers, governmental organizations, nonprofits to really work on innovative solutions for the child care industry,” said Caputo. “For our child care providers, to strengthen our systems that were impacted by the pandemic.”

CDEC worked with Early Milestones Colorado to choose organizations that would receieve these one-year grants.

“We partnered with Early Milestones Colorado to administer these grants, and they did it an incredible job at looking at all of our applicants and really taking like an equity lens,” said Caputo.

Tova Cohen, CDEC Marketing and Communications Director, said the department aims to support the whole child and the whole family.

“Being able to get these funds to providers, to nonprofit organizations, to the communities that are really supporting our child care providers and also other providers in other fields is just absolutely critical for achieving that mission of supporting the whole child and whole family,” said Cohen.

Around 200 ogranizations will receieve the CIRCLE grant. These organizations include early care and education providers, early childhood councils, statewide and local nonprofit organizations.

In Colorado Springs, Early Connections is an organization recieving the CIRCLE grant.

“We were really fortunate to receive a CIRCLE grant to support our home network program in an expansion and of the work that we are doing with family child care homes,” said Liz Denson, President and CEO Early Connections.

Early Connections has three centers in Colorado Springs and partners with multiple family childcare homes.

“This grant will allow us the opportunity to greatly expand that reach by hiring two coaches who will work with about 10 to 12 homes each,” said Denson. “Which will also, as I mentioned, increase the number of incidental their care available within our community.”

Noreen Landis-Tyson, President and CEO CPCD Giving Children a Headstart, said funds for early childhood education help children exceed.

“It’s good for all of us to have children supported in that particular way so that they are ready to be successful in school. And of course, we hope that they’re successful in school, they’re successful in life,” said Landis-Tyson.

A full list of the organizations recieving CIRCLE grants can be found here.