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Ensuring the Colorado Shared Message Bank and a Community for Communicators Grows and Thrives

As many in the early childhood community know, the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership (ECCP) worked intentionally to advance the shared goals within the Early Childhood Colorado Framework for many years. Developing and sustaining a comprehensive early childhood system with children and families at the center was no easy task, and no one individual, organization or agency can do it alone. Together, their collective efforts facilitated numerous engagements and tools that continue to support families and organizations today. However, with numerous organizations focused on early childhood health and education, the ECCP Steering Committee decided earlier this year to discontinue the work and create space for others to grow and thrive.

As the ECCP dissolved, Illuminate Colorado, a statewide 501(c)3 organization dedicated to strengthening families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment, has stepped in to ensure that the Colorado Shared Message Bank and the community that ECCP supported for communicators focused on promoting research-based frames and messages proven to garner broad public support for issues connected to healthy early childhood development, the prevention of adversity, mitigation of toxic stress and promotion of resilience and strengthening families continues to exist and grow into the future.

The Colorado Shared Message Bank is a critical tool in the toolbox to aid people in shifting community norms, perceptions and policy toward embracing the importance of investing in children and strengthening families and communities. It is also product of a collaborative effort of many people trained to support partners around the state as they work to integrate the Shared Message Bank and communications best practices into their communications efforts with and on behalf of children and families. These mentors review partner materials and offer advice on framing to promote social change or engage Coloradans in services that strengthen families.  

As additional frameworks to support maternal health and child maltreatment prevention have been created in Colorado and the community focused on improving communications practices begins to reconvene to share what is working and learn from one another, Colorado offers a message of gratitude to the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership for providing the space and conditions for diverse partners across the comprehensive early childhood system – encompassing health, mental health, family support and early learning – to come together to identify common results, share best and innovative practices, and implement strategies to improve system effectiveness for and with child and family well-being.

Join the community of communicators to find support in promoting messages that strengthen families. 

Project: Kindergarten NOW! Coalition

Location of Messaging: Statewide

The Kindergarten NOW! Coalition is a group of partners working to advocate for fully funded full-day Kindergarten for all children who choose it in Colorado. 

The coalition utilized the All Together for Prosperity messaging as their headline for why Colorado needs to invest in full-day Kindergarten. 

Website: http://www.fulldayk.co/ 

Project: Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) Website

Location of Messaging: Statewide

ABCD updated its website and messaging and used the Shared Messages and Photo Bank to inform the changes. The About Us section of the website includes prosperity framing and explanatory language around the importance of child development. ABCD has also developed messaging which explains what developmental screenings are to support building understanding and clarity for those outside of the field.

In addition to the messages, ABCD incorporated the Guidelines for Visuals and the Photo Bank to inform stock photos on the website. 

Find the website here: www.coloradoabcd.org 

Project: CO4Kids Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign

Organization: Colorado Department of Human Services

Location of Messaging: Statewide

In 2015, the Colorado Department of Human Services, in partnership with more than one hundred and fifty community partners throughout the state and Governor Hickenlooper, launched a multi-year Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign to engage all Coloradans in the prevention of child abuse and promote the new Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437). 

Coloradans think Child Abuse and Neglect is a big problem. Why do we need to raise awareness? 

To build an evidence-based public awareness campaign, the Department conducted public opinion research in 2013 which serves as a baseline measurement for the effectiveness of the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign. According to research, Coloradans were well aware child abuse and neglect is a problem, believing that one in four children experience abuse or neglect. More than half of Coloradans said they had personally encountered a child that they suspected was a victim of abuse or neglect and they said that they were very likely to report a litany of typical abuse and neglect situations.  

However, perceptions were very different from reality. Prior to the launch of the campaign the general public – friends, neighbors, community members – were not reporting concerns. It was estimated that 75% of reports of child abuse and neglect in Colorado came from mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect, 15% came from family members, and only 10% came from the general public. 

The primary goal of the campaign is to encourage all Coloradans to play a role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect by reporting all concerns to the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline and getting involved to help Colorado’s kids. This comprehensive effort includes shared messaging, grassroots outreach, media relations, billboards, television commercials, social media, and extensive toolkit materials to help campaign partners raise awareness. Every year, the campaign reaches over one million impressions, encouraging Coloradans to get involved and play a role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. 

This campaign website is intended to help you:

  • better understand the legal definition of child abuse and neglect in Colorado,  
  • recognize the signs and behaviors associated with the various types of child abuse and neglect,
  • know what happens after you call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, 
  • learn how to prevent child abuse and neglect, and
  • help people who want to get involved connect with local organizations making a difference in Colorado communities. 

Contact us to learn more at www.co4kids.org 

Collateral:

Parenting Flier

Ways to strengthen families

Let’s have a real conversation about the struggles of parenting 9news interview

Employers play a role in strengthening families.  (Speech by Laura Love of GroundFloor Media, April 2018)

We all play a role in strengthening families in… (Highlights from press event for Child Abuse Prevention Month, April 2018)

We are live kicking off Child Abuse Prevent Month in… (full press event for April)

Project: Looking to the Past to Shape Colorado’s Future Report

Organization: Early Milestones Colorado

Location of Messaging: Statewide

Early Milestones Colorado released a report detailing Colorado’s remarkable progress in early childhood over the past three decades. Looking to the Past to Shape Colorado’s Future: 30 Years of Progress for Young Children and Families covers the considerable accomplishments Colorado has made in health and well-being, learning and development, family support, and education. It highlights policies for state leaders to consider for work that remains.

Shared Messages are woven throughout the report, but are especially key in the introduction and framing of the report.

Collateral:

Executive Summary

Full Report

Lessons Learned & Policy Considerations

Project: Promises for Children

Organization: United Way of Weld County Promises for Children

 

Location of Messaging: Weld County

Promises for Children is using the messaging in banners, ads, flyers, posters and social media. They are integrated into general campaign messaging to be consistent as well.

Materials: 

Sample Banner/Flier

 

Project: Increasing Public Investment in Children in the Estes Valley

Organization: Estes Valley Investment in Child Success (EVICS)

Location of the Messaging: Estes Park, Colorado

The goal of this project was to increase community awareness of, and investment in, early childhood needs and services, and to build community support for a systemic approach to the provision of high-quality early childhood services.

EVICS developed a task force of community members who were trained to inundate the community with messages about the importance of strong child development and child care as the Estes Valley is experiencing issues for families trying to access quality, affordable care. The taskforce developed a PowerPoint slide deck with the support of the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership to help them in their effort to build public support. In addition, EVICS developed ads for local papers promoting their messages.

Collateral: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project: Clayton Early Learning Holiday Card

Organization: Clayton Early Learning

Location: Statewide/Online

We used shared messaging in our holiday card to promote and celebrate the notion of shared prosperity. The card is intended for a range of audiences, so we used the message of shared prosperity to recognize all stakeholders and their contributions to our work in early childhood.

Project: Shared Messaging in Grand County

Organization: Grand Beginnings

Location of Messaging: Grand and Jackson Counties

Grand Beginnings has a total of seven banners that are included on their website, each one addressing one of the primary messages in the Shared Message Bank. Clicking on one of the banners redirects to Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child for more information. The website is available to those seeking more information about Grand Beginnings, so these messages are able to reach a wide range of people.

The messaging is also included in their Early Childhood Mental Health brochure, which touches on topics such as resilience as a skill and childhood mental health. These brochures are available to parents and caregivers and are distributed on both an individual basis and through our partners in childcare, educational services, and healthcare services.

Collateral: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project: 9 Ways to Grow Healthy Colorado Kids

Organization: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment — Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Unit

Location of Messaging: Statewide

Speaking With One Voice are nine audience-tested early childhood obesity prevention messages and supporting content to address important healthy lifestyle behaviors found most promising in preventing overweight and obesity before it begins among Colorado’s youngest children. The goal of the initiative is to ensure pregnant women and families with infants and young children hear consistent messages in multiple settings where they spend time and interact with community members that potentially influence health behaviors.

Since 2015, the 9 Ways to Grow Healthy Colorado Kids messages are being used statewide by diverse partner organizations including public health and primary care clinics, WIC Programs, hospitals, early child care homes and centers, recreation centers, libraries and others. No cost messaging materials are available at www.colorado.gov/cdphe/9-ways-grow-healthy-colorado-kids or simply search on One Stop ECOP Shop. Resources include downloadable posters and handouts, provider talking points, newsletter templates, social media guide, messaging video, an electronic form to order materials and more!

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Unit invites you to join this statewide effort in sharing these messages and supporting rationale and tips in your counseling, education, and community messaging promotion efforts. We maximize messaging when all public health programs, health care providers, early care and education professionals and other partners work together to deliver consistent, accurate and consumer-tested messages. Together, we can make a greater impact!

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