Early Childhood
Early Learning Domain
...Care and Education

Vision: Every young child in Mesa County will have access to high quality early care and education.

Mission: Mesa District Group (MDG or Mesa District Group) supports all children, their families, and early childhood educators through a network that promotes quality, affordability, and the capacity to create safe, healthy, and nurturing environments where young children and providers of care learn and grow.

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  • To serve and to act on behalf of the needs, rights, and well being of children, families, and early childhood educators.
  • To promote developmentally appropriate, affordable, accessible early childhood care and educational services for Colorado children from birth to age eight.
  • To advocate for improved working conditions, wages, and recognition for individuals in the Early Childhood field.
  • To inform policy makers and public leaders about the mission and goals of the Mesa District Group.
  • To cooperate with other local, state and national organizations and agencies having compatible goals in working with young children.

Early childhood is most often identified as the time period in children's lives from birth to eight years of age. Historically, the family has been considered to be responsible for the well being of children prior to entering school. As more women are employed in the workplace, the role that non-parental caregivers play has become increasingly important.  Research on brain development has shown that the experiences children have in the first three years of life significantly impact the physical structure of the brain and a child's ability to learn.  By the time children enter school, brain development is 90% complete.  Investment in providing high quality experiences in the years prior to entry into the K-12 education system has been shown, especially for at risk children, to provide a return on investment ranging from $7 to $17 for every dollar spent.

Want to learn more? Please join us!
The Early Learning Domain is chaired by Stephanie Stelljes. The committee meets the first Thursday of each month (except July) from 6:15 to 8:00pm at Western Colorado Community College, 2508 Blichman Avenue, Grand Junction. Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, email

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