Header Early Childhood News
Mental Health letters

Mental Wellness

Happy September!

I hope you had a great summer and have been taking care of yourself, filling your mental health bucket, so that you can fill all those little buckets in your care!

I believe that mental wellness is the core of a child’s best start; more and more of us are advocating for strategies that help communities work together to support early childhood mental health. Here at Kids First we’ve worked with a mental health consultant in the early childhood classrooms for over 15 years; and we know it’s made a difference for children, families, and the childcare teachers!

There is a great new resource from Mental Health Colorado – the Early Childhood Mental Health Toolkit. Many of our communities will be holding meetings soon to increase awareness about this important topic including what do I need to know? What works? How can the initiative be funded? Good questions right!

Young children need to learn mental health skills in much the same way they learn cognitive or gross motor skills, by modeling and practicing. ZERO TO THREE defines infant and early childhood mental health as the developing capacity of the child from birth to 5 years of age to form close relationships, manage and express emotions, explore the environment, and learn.

As many of you know expertise and support for early childhood mental health varies across the state. This is part of the overall effort to assess, promote, and support new practice for young children. Please download and read this great resource, it is such an important part of the great work you all do with young children!

  • Mental health consultation can increase overall early learning quality, teachers’ self-efficacy, and teachers’ competence.
  • Early childhood mental health consultation is a cost-effective means for infusing mental health services into early childhood settings.
  • Early childhood teachers can have a significant impact on children’s well being when they are receiving input about healthy interactions with their students. An  11-state evaluation of pre-kindergarten classrooms showed that high-quality teacher-child interactions predicted increased levels of social skills and lower levels of behavioral problems.

Shirley Ritter, Director Kids First
Rocky Mtn Early Childhood Council logo

Greetings from your Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Council!

We are looking forward to supporting programs with Colorado Shines funds for the third year in a row- let’s keep up the good work! In case you didn’t know:

  • Applications are now open for Colorado Shines Quality Improvement (CSQI)!

  • Programs participating in CSQI funding who serve Infants and/or Toddlers can apply for up to $7,500 in Capital Improvement funds to help build fences, playgrounds, as well as many other projects.

Interested in getting to level 2 but experiencing a hardship?
WE WANT TO KNOW about it- you may be eligible for other funding!

Kristin Sparkman                                                  Stacy Petty
Early Childhood Specialist                                    RMECC Coordinator
rmeccspecialist@mtnvalley.org                            rmecc@mtnvalley.org
719-293-2378                                                    719-486-7273

Congrats Akiko and Yara

Another Professional Development Opportunity

Register today for the Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Environments
fall online certificate course!

The certificate program is a fully online distance education course and is tailored for early childhood educators. It supports interested learners in gaining the skills and understanding required to create, manage, promote, organize, and administer high quality outdoor environments for young children and accompanying adults.
The courses runs from September 16th to December 9th, 2019.

Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Environments Registration Fee: $100 for North Carolina residents & $450 for non-North Carolina residents.

New offices Riverbridge
New office 2
New office 3
River Bridge logo

Where silence ends + healing begins

Through the Bridge to Their Futures Campaign, our community is stepping up in a big way to help us transform our new home at 504 21st Street in Glenwood Springs into a warm and welcoming place. River Bridge will be forever gratefull for the funds that have been contributed so far, River Bridge has been able to move into our new facility, and we have expanded our team to better serve our community. Our larger space includes offices for our therapists and comfortable exam rooms for women and children. Although we have come a long way, the work of creating a safe haven for children and their families in our new building continues. 

To learn more about River Bridge and the services we offer, we are pleased to welcome you to one of our River Bridge 101 presentations. River Bridge professionals provide information about child abuse statistics, some myths and facts, victim and offender dynamics, the purpose and process of a Child Advocacy Center in general, and River Bridge in particular.  

Thursday, September 5th                                Thursday, October 24th
9:00 am                                                               7:00am
Glenwood Springs Library                          Aspen Rotary Club
815 Cooper Ave.                                               Mountain Chalet Aspen
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601                      333 E Durant Ave.                      
                                                                               Aspen, Co 81611

Riverbridge logo

River Bridge Regional Center, where silence
ends + healing begins

Riverbridge 10 tips

Get Your Copy of
Who’s The Boss of This Body?
Sold on Amazon

Local author Meghan Hurley Backofen, LCSW, is the Core Sexual Abuse treatment provider for Garfield County Department of Human Services. She is the mental health coordinator at River Bridge Regional Center ,a child advocacy center in Western Colorado.
For the past seventeen years, Meghan has specialized in providing mental health treatment to child sexual abuse survivors and their families. These brave children, teens, and caregivers have been Meghan’s greatest teachers and have provided her with the expertise necessary to write this book.
Time and time again it is clear when stories of sexual abuse surface in the media, that the silence that followed was an integral part of the traumatic experience. Meghan believes that the traumatic impact could be significantly minimized if children felt confident to tell as soon as possible and if the listener reported immediately. This is the inspiration behind this book. It offers parents a direct and comfortable approach to this difficult topic.

Garfield Traing calendar
Garfield County logo

Licensing Corner

Greetings All,

Here we all are at the beginning of another school year. For many of us this is just a continuation of the ongoing awesomeness that is our calling. To others it is a new adventure as the new little ones in mass are entering the doors. 

I was going to have a “Hawk Eye Pierce” unique perspective and take away for this edition of the licensing corner but I think it would be better that I walk you all through how to access the Administrative Guide. Yes, it has changed.  I cannot stress enough that you access this regularly.

Everyone should or MUST bookmark in your computer www.coloradoofficeofearlychildhood.com. This is the only page that does not change and will get you quick access to what you need to know.

Once there look on the left hand side of the page showing. There are large Gray buttons, one of them says Child Care Licensing Rules single left click on this button.   If you double click or “hasty mouse it” your computer may have issues and not work for you.

The page that comes up will have links in the middle of the page. You will see that one of the links is Printer- Friendly Rules. You can go here for rule downloads but for this moment, we are going to the next one down, Administrative Guides for Rules. Single left click on this.

On this next page are the links to the different Administrative Guides for different rule section.The first one you should see is the Guide for General Rules 7.701. If you recall everyone no matter what your license is, have to abide by this rule section. They are all single left click to open them.  Once open you can download them but may I suggest that you do not print them as they will change. 

The next section you will want to open is the section that is specific to your license. To help in clarifying, Child Care Centers, Preschools, Large Centers, Small Centers, Teen Parent Programs, Infant and Toddler only programs, and Part-day Preschool Programs have to go by Child Care Center Rules 7.702. School Age Child Care, Before and After School programs, Summer Day Camps, Mobile Day Camps, and Multi-Skilled Activity Camps will need the School Age Child Care Center Rules 7.712. Family Child Care Home Rules 7.707 apply to all programs that are located in the residence of the primary caregiver.

For full disclosure, there is another rule section that applies and this is the Special Activities Rules 7.719 but as of this writing, there is not an administrative guide for them. If you are not sure if the 7.719’s apply to you call your Licensing Specialist and talk it over.

Going through these regularly will answer many questions and give you some guidance with outside resources, cheat sheets, sample forms, and websites to help.
We here at licensing understand that time is at a premium. Please take the time to review these so you are up on the latest and greatest.  Please note, that the Office of Early Childhood also urges programs to access the www.coloradoofficeofearlychildhood.com website to download required forms to ensure they are always most current.

As always, be well and safe.

Sandy Jennings 720.660.7136,   Mark Lapka 970.319.3570,
and Rebecca Romeyn 945.9191 Ext. 3066

Hand washing


Now that kids are back in school we see an increased number of illnesses, so here are some tips on how to stay healthy.
First, wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap. Lather up for 20 seconds to help remove germs before prepping food or eating, after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, blowing noses or tending to cuts and sores.  This is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of illness. 
Second, avoid sharing food, utensils, cups and toothbrushes.  Germs can spread prior to knowing someone is sick, so make a habit of using your own items all the time.
Third, make sure you and your child’s immunizations are up to date. Vaccines including the flu shot prevent infectious illnesses from chickenpox to polio to measles. 
And finally, if you or your child do get sick, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve. Coughing or sneezing into the air or your hand increases the chance that someone else will breathe or come in contact with your infected germs. 
So wash up, be mindful of not sharing, get immunized and cover up so you and your family stay healthy!

Kids First logo

Robin Strecker RN
Child Care Health Consultant, Kids First
p: 970.920.5326

Kids First logo

Coaching Corner

As you begin your new school year, we want you to be aware of updated Pyramid resources that are available to you.  All of these resources are available through The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI). That website is https://challengingbehavior.cbcs.usf.edu/index.html . The visuals have been modernized and we think they have made great improvements. The Resource Library  is where you will find all of the articles, handouts, visuals, scripted stories, videos, Backpack Connection Series for parents , research and lots more.  Here are some examples of the updated materials:

Problem Solving picture

Peer Mediated Skills

Skill 1
Skill 2
Skill 3
Skill 4
Skill 5

Do you notice any differences? We would love to hear what you think about the changes. Let us know if you are interested in using these materials and if we can visit your classroom to help you update your Pyramid Plus Approach Strategies. The beginning of the new school year is a great time to refresh visuals and continue teaching your students essential social and emotional skills.

Megan Monaghan M.A. Ed.                                 Adley Kent
Kids First                                                              Kids First
Senior Quality Improvement Coach                     Quality Improvement Coach
P: 970.920.5373                                                   P:  970.920.5742
C: 303.817.2867

ECN logo

ECN’s annual Casino Night fundraiser is almost here….  We are so excited!

Come enjoy a fun evening with the Early Childhood Network. We will have dinner, drinks, a great silent auction, roulette, craps, Texas hold'em, blackjack, poker, raffle prizes and more!

September 27th
6:00-10:00 pm
Integra Motorsports   2302 Devereux Road, Glenwood Springs

Tickets are only $20.00 which includes $10 of gaming chips, food, and a free drink or you can purchase a VIP ticket for $40.00 which includes $20.00 of gambling chips, food, and unlimited drinks! For tickets, go to www.eventbrite.com  or call 970-928-7111.
Early Childhood Network is a non-profit that relies on grant funding, donations and fundraising to enhance the quality, accessibility, and affordability of early childcare. If you are unable to attend and would like to support our work, you can also go to www.earlychildhoodnet.org to donate to our organization.
A BIG thank you to Alpine Bank for being our Title Sponsor!

Casino Night Flier
Powered by
CivicSend - A product of CivicPlus