What is the Birth to Eight Roadmap?
The Birth to Eight Roadmap is a citywide collective of nonprofits, governmental agencies and funders
who have united under a new framework to improve the outcomes for Denver’s youngest residents.
The Roadmap establishes common metrics and a unique governance structure that will both facilitate
collaboration around best practices, and backing individual organizations to continue developing and
expanding the services they provide. In this way, Denver will be a city committed to “Support and
empower families living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty so that young children in these
neighborhoods reach their developmental potential and succeed in school and in life, starting with
early language and literacy.”
Why is the Birth to Eight Roadmap necessary?
We want Denver to be the most literate city in the nation. Research affirms the centrality of literacy to
future success — children who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more
likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers. Yet supporting our youngest learners is
a complex endeavor given the multiple factors that impact language and literacy. We all have a role to
play — it will take sustained partnerships between Denver Public Schools, the City and County of Denver, community partners, funders, parents and caregivers.
How will the Roadmap accomplish this?
The Birth to Eight Roadmap does not seek to create an entirely new set of programs to accomplish its
goals. Instead, it links and builds upon existing work already being done. By bringing child development
providers, government organizations and funders under one umbrella, the Roadmap
- Sets unified citywide goals: While we respect the diversity of services provided throughout our
communities, we believe common set of goals for providers will allow a better coordinated
effort in serving youth and families. As such, all Roadmap partners will be asked to consider
how their work can better prepare children for Kindergarten and have them on track to reading
on level by 3rd grade.
- Convenes and connects existing community assets: Denver’s communities are filled with
bright-spot examples of providers and programing that benefit our families. The Roadmap
establishes professional networks between these providers to help encourage collaboration and
coordination around services provided. In this way the Roadmap will help providers expand
- Provide resource guides to families: The Roadmap adheres to the principle that families must have the power to determine what resources their child needs. To ensure families are making as informed choices as possible, the Roadmap produces online and physical resource guides that allow community members to learn about the different providers and programming available to them. These guides are supplemented by a city-wide calendar that highlights child development activities and events from a wide variety of organizations that are available throughout the year. Focusing the actions of a diverse set of government agencies, schools, and community-based programs
To realize this vision, the Roadmap’s framework operates on two key principles:
- Share Best Practices and Resources: Denver’s early child development community has a wealth
of knowledge and experience. When coordinated, these programs can reinforce each other,
helping all providers improve services or widen the impact of their work. The Roadmap
framework establishes collaborative structures to ensure that the parties involved have the
opportunity to talk and learn from each other.
- Share Accountability: Keeping stakeholders focused and united requires a system in place to monitor and share progress towards our metrics. The Roadmap’s shared and sustainable
leadership model establishes multiple layers of communication to ensure that Roadmap
partners are aware of both successes as well as areas where strategy or practice might need to
be adjusted to better reach the common goals.
What is a Partner Organization?
The Birth to Eight Roadmap recognizes a wide range of work necessary to support Denver’s children and families, from developmental screenings, to professional development for early childhood educators, to aligning programming at cultural institutions around the city. While the depth and breadth of the work brings many unique stakeholders to the table, Roadmap partners share some commonalities.
Partner organizations are community-based providers that are implementing programs that impact
young children and their families, and participate in the collaborative cross-Denver conversations
around improvement of services. Partner organizations agree to the following commitments:
- Commitment to the Roadmap’s goals as their own within the context of their mission as an
- Commitment to ongoing and active collaboration with other providers to share learnings.
- Commitment to continuous improvement, which may mean refining practices already in place
or adapting those utilized by other partners.
How will the Roadmap measure success?
One of the defining features of the Birth to Eight Roadmap is the common goals it establishes for the
collective as a whole, as well as individualize metrics for the targeted neighborhoods. The Roadmap’s
overall goals will be focused in three domains: Individual Child, Family, and Systems. These categories
reflect our overall mission of aligning support structures to ensure all of Denver’s children are reaching
their potential, and all families are empowered allies in that endeavor. While the Data Work Group will
propose the initial targets, all stakeholders will have a voice in ensuring the Roadmap’s goals are both
ambitious and appropriate for the various communities around the city.