Download the Report as a PDF

The links below will download a file from the Department of Early Childhood website.

English Version

B5 Needs Assessment report

Spanish Version

B5 Needs Assessment report in Spanish

Colorado Birth Through Five 2023 Needs Assessment

Report for the Colorado Department of Early Childhood

April 5, 2024

Colorado receives an important part of its funding to improve early childhood services from a federal program called the Preschool Development Grant (PDG). This report is part of the state’s work for the PDG Birth Through Five Planning Grant. The Colorado Department of Early Childhood contracted with CHI to prepare this report, which looks at the needs of Colorado’s system to support children birth through age 5 and their families. 

The Department of Early Childhood launched in 2022 as the state’s newest department. The Birth Through Five assessment and a companion planning report come at an ideal time as this department’s work gets underway. They provide an opportunity to understand the needs of Colorado families and the professionals who serve them. 

This report is for Colorado’s entire early childhood system, which includes the Department of Early Childhood, other state and local agencies, and the families of young children themselves. As much as possible, it avoids government jargon and presents ideas in plain language. Families and early childhood professionals make up the heart of the system. This report is not only about them, but for them. In addition to guiding organizational change, the goal is that families and professionals can use it to better understand the system and advocate for improvements. 

The Department of Early Childhood, CHI, the Family Voice Council, and Early Childhood Leadership Commission subcommittees worked in partnership to create a research plan for this assessment. They identified five sections to focus on:

  1. Family engagement
  2. Sustainability
  3. Workforce
  4. Availability
  5. Quality

Each section examines the state’s needs across four areas of the early childhood system. They are: 

  • Early childhood mental health programs 
  • Family strengthening, which includes several home visiting programs 
  • Early care and education, which includes preschool and child care 
  • Early Intervention Colorado

Finally, Colorado’s Birth Through Five Planning Grant identifies different family circumstances that should be addressed in additional detail. They are:

  • Language and Culture. Families whose primary language is not English, families from various cultures, and immigrant families.
  • Health. Children who need additional support due to chronic physical, mental, or emotional conditions.
  • Resources. Families who live in rural areas or high-poverty areas, and families experiencing homelessness.
  • Infants and Toddlers. Families with children 2 and under.

The select family circumstances are discussed in the final part of each section, labeled Planning for Improvement. These parts of the report offer suggestions for addressing needs that the report identifies. 

The full report is available of the Department of Early Childhood's website in both English and Spanish. See the links on the left side of this page.

Young girl in a pink tank top and bucket hat at a farmer's market
A mom in glasses and a black shirt looking over her left shoulder and holding her one-year-old son
Two little boys and a little girl playing on a kitchen floor
A preschool girl looking through a magnifying glass

Previous Report

CHI completed the 2019 Birth Through Five Needs Assessment for the state Office of Early Childhood.

Opportunities for Colorado’s Early Childhood System