Alignment of Early Childhood Programs in Colorado: Review of a Legislative Response



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University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work


A dearth of coordination and collaboration among early childhood services can have negative consequences for children and families. Alignment of developmental programs for young children is shown to mitigate adverse outcomes and improve access to early childhood care and education. Several policies have been introduced that help to ensure children receive adequate resources in an effort to improve their physical and mental health, development, school performance, and family environment. On May 7, 2013, Colorado Governor Hickenlooper signed House Bill 1117 (2013), which requires the alignment of several early childhood programs under the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS). This article describes problems associated with fragmentation of early childhood programs, Colorado’s mission to address these problems through more effective and streamlined systems of care, and how such an approach has promise for implementation in additional states. Implications for social work professionals are also discussed.



Perspectives on Social Work, Samantha Brown, Alignment, Colorado, Early Childhood, Policy, Service Coordination, Perspectives on Social Work, Social work, Alignment, Colorado, Early Childhood, Policy, Service Coordination