Congrats to ECHO and Family Center Early Childhood Council on a successful legislative symposium!
Last week in Cañon City, the ECHO and Family Center Early Childhood Council hosted their 14th Legislative Symposium to call on policymakers, candidates for public office, and community members to “Think Babies”. During the keynote speech, Matt Bennett, speaker, trainer, and author of Connecting Paradigms, educated the audience about brain development in the earliest years of life and the negative impact that untreated trauma can have on cognitive ability and emotional control into adulthood.
ECHO and Family Center Early Childhood Council director Pam Walker then highlighted the work of the Council, which was established in 1976. Ms. Walker reminded the audience that there is no such thing as a baby; rather, there is a baby and a caregiver, reinforcing the need for two-generation strategies to improve the well-being of infants, toddlers, and all children. As a rural community, providers and early childhood professionals in Fremont County wear many hats, which enables them to recognize and address the needs of the whole family and helps to ensure that “all doors are the right door” to access needed services. The event included recognition of outgoing State Sen. Kevin Grantham, who has been a stalwart advocate for children and family in his community and closed with comments from elected officials and candidates, including Representative Jim Wilson, and Fremont County Commissioners Debbie Bell and Dwayne McFall.
Thank you to Dorothy Day of the ECHO and Family Center Early Childhood Council who organized a community forum the next morning and the more than 20 community leaders who turned out to help the Children’s Campaign, Clayton Early Learning, and the Prenatal, Infant, Toddler Coalition understand the unique strengths and challenges facing families in Fremont County. Advocates from a range of local agencies and organizations shared ideas for policy solutions to ensure that expecting families, pregnant people, infants, and toddlers have the supports they need to thrive. We left Canon City inspired by the tenacity of local early childhood leaders and their collaborative approach to serving the needs of the children and families in their community.