The Colorado Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (CO-ECCS): Health Integration Prenatal-to-Three Project is a grant-funded project of the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC), with Illuminate Colorado providing backbone support. 

The vision of CO-ECCS is to advance the infrastructure, capacity, equity, and sustainability of Colorado’s maternal and early childhood systems of care. To accomplish this, partners from across the state are coming together to strategize around multiple goals.

Goals and Strategies

The CO-ECCS Project completed their strategic planning in January of 2023, and the ECCS Working Group, charged with advising the project, now looks to begin strategic activities to accomplish their goals. This implementation phase comes after months of hard work by the ECCS Working Group. After receiving the ECCS grant in August 2021, the Working Group identified key opportunities and related work already being done across Colorado. This information was compiled and used to develop strategies to be included in the strategic plan.

 

Each strategy is associated with a goal of the project, which include:  

#1: Increase the engagement of new stakeholders, such as families and health providers in the system of wrap-around supports for families during pregnancy through the first three years of a child’s life.

#2: Align early childhood and maternal child health systems to advance the sustainability of multi-generational preventive services and systems.

#3: Advance health equity by creating an Early Childhood Equity Action Plan focused from the prenatal period through the first three years of a child’s life.

The CO-ECCS Strategic Plan exists as part of Colorado’s strategic plan for the early childhood system, the Colorado Shines Brighter Birth through Five Strategic Plan.

To accomplish each of their three goals, the ECCS Working Group developed key strategies:

In order to increase the engagement of new stakeholders in the system of wrap-around supports (Goal #1), the Coordinated Intake and Referral Systems (CIRS) implementation team will:
    • Identify and assess barriers across local and state referral systems, create resources to support community cross-sector integration, and develop recommendations for future improvements to prenatal to three referral systems. (CSB Strategy 1.2.8)
    • Ensure structures are in place to receive and incorporate family voice across early childhood and maternal child health policy and initiative planning, implementation, and continuous quality improvement processes. (CSB Strategy 3.3.3)
In order to align early childhood and maternal child health systems (Goal #2), the Early Childhood & Health Care Partnerships implementation team will:
    • Develop resources to increase connections between early childhood and maternal child health systems through cross-sector planning, braiding and blending funds, and sustainable implementation strategies. (CSB Strategy 4.1.9)
    • Identify and prioritize policy and financing recommendations that support an integrated prenatal-to-three system and mobilize partners to advance those recommendations. (CSB Strategy 1.3.3)
In order to advance health equity through an Early Childhood Equity Action Plan (Goal #3), Equity Planning implementation team will:
    • Create an Early Childhood Equity Action Plan that is a collaboration of the early childhood and maternal child health systems. (CSB Strategy 1.1.7)

Stay tuned for updates as implementation teams begin their strategic activities!

Get Involved!

Stay up to date on CO-ECCS’s progress. Subscribe to receive the monthly newsletter and updates related to the CO-ECCS Project and the ECCS Working Group.

Do you want to advance the infrastructure, capacity, equity, and sustainability of Colorado’s maternal and early childhood systems of care?

The project is currently looking for new members with lived experience with the perinatal and early childhood health systems, as well as professionals in the healthcare field. The expected time commitment is approximately four hours per month, which includes a 90 minute meeting once a month. Reach out to Dawn Newby at dnewby@illuminatecolorado.org to learn more!

The CO-ECCS Project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award of the ECCS Program totaling $255,600 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov

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-Illuminate is seeking proposals for a skilled and collaborative partner that will support Illuminate Colorado with the Colorado Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (CO-ECCS): Health Integration Prenatal-to-Three (P-3) project with equitable processes in the project...

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