Colorado: Polis Administration Announces Sole Finalist for Department of Early Childhood Executive Director

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Administration to implement universal preschool, saving Colorado families $4,300 per year while providing high-quality, accessible early care and education

DENVER — The Polis Administration announced today that Dr. Lisa Roy is the sole finalist in the search for the new Executive Director for the new Department of Early Childhood.

"Colorado's nation-leading work supporting early childhood education, from free full day kindergarten to universal preschool, ensures every Colorado kid has the high-quality education they deserve, saves families thousands of dollars per year, and supports the educator workforce for the future," said Gov. Polis. "We are thrilled to have a sole finalist in our search for an Executive Director for the new Department of Early Childhood who shares our passion for education and our commitment to ensure every Colorado kid can thrive."

The new department will oversee the implementation of the voter approved universal preschool which, starting in 2023, will save Colorado families $4,300 per year.

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Dr. Roy currently serves as the Director of Program Development at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska, a position she has held since 2019. Her accomplished career in early childhood education includes serving as the Executive Director of Early Childhood Education  for Denver Public Schools from 2016 - 2019. From 2015-2016, Dr. Roy served as the Equity and Policy Impact Group Consultant at Grantmakers for Education, and was the Executive Director of the Timothy and Bernadette Marquez Foundation from 2010-2014.  Dr. Roy holds an EdD in Leadership for Educational Equity, with a focus on Executive Leadership from the University of Colorado Denver, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education from the University of Colorado Denver. Dr. Roy graduated Magna Cum Laude from Metropolitan State College of Denver with a B.A. in Psychology and Speech Communication.

Governor Polis signed HB22-1295 into law to implement the Department of Early Childhood, creating a one-stop shop for early childhood and family support programs to streamline the early childhood system, making it easier for families to navigate by creating a single application for early childhood programs, while preparing students for success, building a highly-skilled early care and education workforce, and giving families economic freedom.

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The Department of Early Childhood is the result of years of work and more than 130 meetings with leaders in the early childhood space, and implements the will of Colorado voters through Prop EE. The Department of Early Childhood was created through the bipartisan HB21-1304 that Governor Polis signed into law last year.

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