Strong Systems, Strong Families: a conversation on the future of preschool

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: March 26, 2021

This week, the Colorado Children’s Campaign and Clayton Early Learning hosted Strong Systems, Strong Families, a town hall meeting featuring voices from the community on the future of preschool in Colorado. We were grateful to be joined by more than 170 Coloradans from across the state, including Governor Jared Polis and Representative Emily Sirota. 

The event included a panel discussion with parent, educator, and community leader perspectives on what is needed to reimagine preschool in Colorado and to ensure the early childhood system serves all young children well. Following the panel, Governor Polis and Representative Sirota reflected on the panelists’ comments and shared their perspective on potential policy changes this legislative session and into the future.  

The Strong Systems, Strong Families panelists were: 

  • Amber Bilby, Family Child Care Provider in Arvada and President of the Colorado Association of Family Child Care (CAFCC) 
  • Nathaniel Cradle, Co-Founder and CFO of VFS Prep Child Care Center in Denver 
  • Corinne DePersis, Colorado parent and advocate 
  • Rachel Graham, Director, North Park Preschool in Walden 
  • Doreen Newcomb, Custer County Early Childhood Council member and School Board Vice President 

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our amazing panelists for their courage, advocacy and candor. Their stories were incredibly powerful and are an essential part of the process of re-imagining preschool in our state. In addition to our panelists and attendees, we are thrilled that over 900 people have engaged in the preschool policy development process so far.   

Spanish interpretation was offered during the event. Recordings of the conversation in English and Spanish can be found here. 

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About Children's Campaign

The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization committed since 1985 to realizing every chance for every child in Colorado. We advocate for the development and implementation of data-driven public policies that improve child wellbeing in health, education and early childhood. We do this by providing Coloradans with trusted data and research on child wellbeing and organizing an extensive state-wide network of dedicated child advocates. For more information, please visit www.coloradokids.org.