In 2007, Clayton Educare Center, a state-of-the-art early childhood education facility on the Clayton campus, opened as a beacon of hope within the community and as a catalyst for early childhood programmatic and policy change. Chambers Family Fund provided the $2 million lead gift to build the center, which would be the fifth Educare child care center to open in the nation. Now serving more than 400 children prenatal to age five and their families, the center is delivering daily on the promise of a brighter future for Colorado’s youngest children. Toddlers entering Clayton Educare Center with measurable learning readiness gaps are closing those gaps by the time they enter kindergarten.
In recognition of the program’s innovative and targeted approach, and potential to serve as an exemplary model for similar programs around the country, Clayton Educare was recognized as a “Center of Excellence” in 2010. This inaugural award made Clayton one of only ten Head Start programs to receive the prestigious recognition from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Head Start. The designation was accompanied by $1 million in funding over five years, enabling Clayton to provide training to other Colorado and national Head Start and early childhood education programs, as well as to deepen its unique evidence-based practices.
While Clayton Educare Center provides the ideal setting to practice high-quality care and education, the Clayton Institute serves as the research arm of the campus. By providing direct service in the areas of teacher/professional education, leadership development, coaching and consulting, and program evaluation, the Institute is an exceptional source of much needed education for parents and educators who have and/or work with young children.
At the heart of Clayton’s success is its collaborative model, building upon the work of existing scholarship and providing support to institutions that have responsibility for young children throughout the state. Clayton Early Learning will continue to be the hub of a statewide network expanding the understanding of the importance of early learning for a child’s future education and success. Chambers Family Fund is pleased to have been involved in creating the Clayton Educare Center and we look forward to the continued advancement of the field through the leading research, practice and training methods taking place across the campus.
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