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  • Dawn Alexander

ECEA Child Care Update- 6/21/24


ECEA Board Met for a Retreat this Week


Great things are on the way based on the conversations we had this week! We will take the next couple of months to build the foundation on some terrific ideas to make a difference for our industry.'s not too late to reach out and add your thoughts! Our new member portal will be available SOON.....let's talk about it there!!

As a reminder: ECEA does not have any board meetings or committee meetings in July. We will still have our ECEA UPK Cohort meeting but that's it! Enjoy the break and we will see you all again full force in August.



Question: What is the difference between the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) Strategic Plan, the Statewide Early Childhood Strategic Plan (formerly referred to as the PDG Colorado Shines Brighter Strategic Plan), the Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC) Strategic Plan and the Early Childhood Colorado Framework?

Answer: There are several early childhood strategic plans and frameworks in Colorado. While efforts are made to ensure alignment between the plans, the scope and intended audience differ.

Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) 5-Year Strategic Plan: The CDEC Strategic Plan is a high-level plan that outlines the department’s goals and objectives for providing high-quality, equitable, and accessible early childhood opportunities to young children and their families. It guides decisions about the Department’s daily work and provides structure to help identify projects and tasks that will help effectively and efficiently pursue CDEC’s vision and mission. It supports the department-wide efforts to establish strong alignment across our multiple divisions and programs.

Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC) 10-Year Strategic Plan: The Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC) is Colorado’s federally authorized state advisory council for early childhood. The role of the ECLC is to be a statewide leader, subject matter expert, and champion of best and promising practices throughout the state. It is statutorily charged with coordinating efforts to enhance alignment, which includes collaboration among six state departments. One of the functions of the ECLC is to ensure that all statewide plans and initiatives are in alignment. Commissioners developed the ECLC Strategic Plan and guides the work of the Commission and its subcommittees. The ECLC 10-Year Strategic Plan is aligned to the Early Childhood Colorado Framework.

Statewide Early Childhood Strategic Plan: The Statewide Early Childhood Strategic Plan, Elevating Early Childhood: Early Childhood System Strategic Plan 2024, is a strategic plan for the state and partners at all levels to improve the state's early childhood system. It responds to the Colorado Birth through Five 2023 Needs Assessment and addresses the comprehensive early childhood system.  The strategies included in the Statewide Early Childhood Strategic Plan were determined through broad engagement of state and local partners and reflect shared priorities across Colorado’s early childhood system, rather than the priorities of any one agency or entity. As such, all partners in the system should consider the Statewide Early Childhood Strategic Plan as one source for determining how their work can advance Colorado’s early childhood system. The Statewide Early Childhood Strategic Plan aligns with the updated Early Childhood Colorado Framework and, where appropriate, with the ECLC Strategic Plan and CDEC Strategic Plan

Early Childhood Colorado Framework: The Early Childhood Colorado Framework is not a Strategic Plan at all but a framework to guide how all levels of the early childhood system in Colorado think about and plan for early childhood initiatives in the state. The Framework provides a broad roadmap of Colorado's comprehensive early childhood system, and includes shared guiding principles and desired outcomes. It does not specifically reference programs, strategies, or initiatives by name but seeks to define what we will see when programs, initiatives, and strategies are implemented and achieve success. The Framework is intended for providers, policymakers, researchers, and local and state agencies. Other state early childhood plans and initiatives should align with the Framework.

Other plans can be found in the following document:


Counties will continue to conduct business as usual by authorizing CCCAP child care based on the care needs of the child but should conduct outreach to the families included in the report to ensure care does not need to be reduced based on their UPK enrollment. Full memo can be read here:



Why aren't you a member? Not sure if you are? Email, to find out!


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL por sus siglas en Inglés) recently announced a new final rule, which revises and updates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The final rule raises the minimum salary for most workers exempt from overtime pay, altering how and when businesses must compensate employees for working overtime. Previously, salaried workers in certain executive, administrative and professional roles earning less $35,568 annually were generally exempt from overtime pay. Now, starting on July 1, 2024, businesses must provide overtime pay to salaried workers who earn less than $43,888 a year. This threshold will further increase to $58,656 on January 1, 2025.

Impact on small businesses

Small employers will now be required to pay salaried employees at least time-and-a-half for working beyond 40 hours in a single work week. For highly compensated employees, the new salary threshold for exemption from overtime will increase from $107,432 to $132,964 starting July 1, 2024. That threshold will rise again to $151,164 on January 1, 2025. What’s more, salary thresholds will update every three years starting July 1, 2027.

Options for small employers

Small employers have a range of options to consider. This may include re-evaluating their workforce structure, pay structure, and much more. Here are some possibilities for each employee affected by the increased earnings threshold:

  • Reduce or eliminate overtime hours,

  • Increase the salary of the employee to at least the new salary level to retain their exempt status,

  • Pay an overtime premium of one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for any overtime hours worked,

  • Employers are still allowed to use annual bonuses to satisfy up to 10% of the salary threshold for highly compensated employees,

  • Reduce the amount of pay allocated to the employee’s base salary (provided that the employee still earns at least the applicable hourly minimum wage) to offset new overtime pay, or

  • Use some combination of the options above. 

NOTE: Small businesses are encouraged to review employee classifications. Exempt and non-exempt status may be determined through the salary basis test, the salary threshold test, and the job duties requirements outlined under the FLSA.

Exemptions from the new overtime threshold

While the FLSA does not provide specific exemptions for small businesses, the new salary thresholds generally apply to employees of enterprises that have an annual gross volume of $500,000 or more in sales. It also applies to employees individually covered by the law because they are engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for commerce.

For businesses operating in states with more protective overtime standards than those outlined in the FLSA, the higher standard applies in that state. For example, California and New York currently have higher standards than the FLSA’s 2025 thresholds.

NOTE: Small businesses that may be exempt from the FLSA may still have obligations under their state’s overtime law, as well as an obligation to pay overtime to a nonexempt employee who is covered under the Individual Coverage rules.

To learn more about the FLSA, read the U.S. Department of Labor’s Small Entity Compliance Guide. For additional resources on overtime pay, visit DOL’s website.




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