Eagle County’s early childhood program is reorganizing
Who they talked to: Several Bright Start representatives, as well as Eagle County Department of Health and Human Services Director Rachel Oys and Sherri Almond, the county’s director of childhood and family services.
What they talked about: The county isn’t going to be able to provide as much money to early childhood services as it has the past few years. Earlier this year, the commissioners asked the Bright Start board to work on a to-do list that included working with greater transparency, finding a way to measure progress in various programs and, ultimately, finding a way to rely less on money from the county and more from grants and donations from other sources.
The Bright Start group has worked on a reorganization plan that streamlines the size of the board – cutting the size from more than 20 to no more than 12 full-time members. Instead of one large board, much of the work will be done by subcommittees that help with early childhood care, intervention to help children and families, health and safety and family assistance. Those small groups will make recommendations to the overall board, and final approval for spending taxpayer money will fall to the commissioners.
The subcommittees will also have to find private donors and grants to fund programs and projects.
What’s next? “We want county funding to become a small part, not the majority, of your funding,” Stavney said.
The commissioners in the next few weeks will probably approve a resolution that formalizes the new structure of Bright Start. After that, the group will advertise for new board members.
Present: Jon Stavney, Sara Fisher.