Colorado Succeeds Members Inform Creation of New Department of Early Childhood

HB21-1304, which created the new Department of Early Childhood, was the seminal piece of Early Childhood Education (ECE) legislation to pass this session. The bill passed through both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support and 80 of 100 legislators voting in favor.

More importantly, many of the business principles the Succeeds Early Childhood Education Taskforce helped craft made it into the vision of the bill and, therefore, the new department. One of these was language that required the agency transition process to include business representatives to help shape the scope and direction of the department.

To date, Ryan Beiser, Regional President of PNC Bank, and Adeeb Khan, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for Delta Dental of Colorado, have served in governor-appointed positions on the Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC), the state’s federally authorized advisory council for early childhood.

The ECLC is statutorily charged with:

  • Assisting public and private agencies in coordinating efforts to enhance alignment, which includes collaboration among five state departments,
  • Advising and make recommendations to the Office of Early Childhood, and
  • Develop strategies and monitor efforts to increase the access, quality, and equity of services and supports on behalf of pregnant women and children birth through age eight.

The ECLC is now convening groups of stakeholders to develop the plan for implementing the new department and universal preschool over the next several months. To achieve this objective, the Commission has formed a Transition Advisory Group and a handful of subgroups to lead this work.

Tom Brinegar, Chief Financial Officer for PEAK Resources, was chosen from a long list of applicants to represent the business voice and will be staffed up by Colorado Succeeds to serve in this role. Tom has been a longtime champion of education and recently served on the Charter School Institute’s Board, another government-appointed position placed in charge of authorizing charter schools outside of a school district.

Colorado Succeeds continues work to ensure that our state’s newest education agency is built with business at the table with sound principles in mind. For information on joining Colorado Succeeds’ Early Childhood Education Taskforce, contact Ashley Andersen.

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Ashley Andersen