Ready for Kindergarten

Because 90% of brain development occurs between birth and five years old, educating and caring for young children to set them up for success in kindergarten and later life is critically important. When young children are exposed to educational and enriching experiences, they learn social and emotional skills that opens up opportunities for decades of success.

This is why the Cradle to Career Ready for Kindergarten Network is committed to "securing the start" for all children from Aspen to Parachute. This is a multi-layered endeavor ranging from investigating the viability of creating a sustainable funding stream to support early childhood education and care, (ECE), to strengthening the ECE system, so that all children enter kindergarten on a level playing field.

The initial work of the Ready for Kindergarten Network involved creating projects designed to fill gaps within the ECE landscape. The focus of these included increasing family engagement, establishing mechanisms to assess and improve quality of programs, and increasing access to affordable quality care and preschool.

The Ready for Kindergarten Network focus has evolved to systems building. The Network has been working to imagine and design a stronger ECE system that more effectively supports all children and families. This includes looking at all elements of an ideal system from prenatal care and early interventions to preschool capacity, affordability and quality. 


  • Expanded use of TS GOLD and regional data collection on kindergarten readiness
  • Focus on increasing quality of Family, Friends and Neighbor care
  • Engaging business leaders to advocate for early childhood education policies
  • Collaborative projects to fill identified gaps in service and to gather data
  • Increase in preschool participation for four-year-olds
  • Increase in the number and quality of licensed home care providers in Garfield County
  • Implementation of Eagle County's Early Childhood Roadmap in the Basalt/El Jebel
  • Influence interest in state legislation to create special taxing districts for early childhood education and care

Partner Organizations

Alpine Bank
Aspen School District
Blue Lake Preschool
Children’s Mini College
Children’s Rocky Mountain School
Colorado Department of Education
Colorado Mountain College
Eagle County Department of Human Services
Early Childhood Network
Early Learning Center
Early Learning Ventures
Faith Lutheran Child Care
Family Resource Center, Roaring Fork School District
Family Visitor Programs
Garfield County School District 16
Garfield County Department of Human Services
Garfield County Childcare Program
Garfield School District Re-2

Growing Years School
Head Start
Kids First
Little Red School House
Mountain Family Health Centers
Mountain Valley Developmental Services
Mt. Sopris Montessori School
Our School
Pitkin County Public Health
Raising A Reader Aspen to Parachute
Reach Out and Read
Roaring Fork School District
Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Council
Valley Settlement

What is School Readiness:
School readiness describes both the preparedness of a child to engage in and benefit from learning experiences, and the ability of a school to meet the need of all students enrolled in preschool or kindergarten. School readiness includes the status and ongoing progress a child makes within the domains of physical well-being and motor development, social and emotional development, language and comprehension development, cognition and general knowledge, literacy, and mathematics. We recognize that school readiness begins at birth and is enhanced when the entire community – families, teachers, schools, nonprofits, business, government, and individual citizens, work collaboratively to ensure that every child is ready for higher levels of learning. Information gathered from school readiness assessments is to be used for supportive and instructional purposes and cannot be used to deny a student admission or progression to kindergarten or first grade.