Commissioner invited to Prenatal-to-Three County Leaders Academy

AURORA, Colo. – Commissioner Julie Ehemann participated in the National Association of Counties Research Foundation (NACoRF) and counties across the nation at its second Prenatal-to-Three County Leaders Academy July 19-20 in Adams County, Colorado.

Recognizing the important role counties play in providing a strong foundation for children prenatal-to-three, this event brought together a select cohort of elected and appointed county leaders to explore potential policy solutions for expanding and improving services for young children and their families.

“Shelby County was excited to join the Prenatal-to-Three County Leaders Academy and pleased to be recognized for our efforts to support infants, toddlers and families,” said Ehemann. “I enjoyed learning from my peers, sharing successes and challenges, and returning to Shelby County with new strategies to support our youngest residents.”

Shelby County has already committed funding from the American Rescue Plan to recruit and develop new childcare opportunities in the community.

Ehemann commented, “We are very aware of the gaps in Childcare in Shelby County and recognize how working families need this support. It is our goal to have sufficient access to childcare that develops our youth and prepares them for school. The Commissioners of Shelby County will continue to pursue various avenues to reach this goal.”

During the height of the pandemic, nearly 40% of households with young children struggled to pay for basic needs like food or rent. Counties have been on the frontlines responding to the pandemic and ensuring that young children have the resources they need during the critical first three years of life. According to the National Association of Counties’ analysis of over 200 county American Rescue Plan Recovery Fund blueprints, nearly 70% include investments in children and families.

The academy featured county leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to prenatal-to-three and made innovative systems changes for young children and their families. County leaders shared strategies for building and sustaining the supply of childcare, increasing home visiting and mental health services, and increasing access to other county services.

The academy is part of NACoRF’s Counties for Kids initiative for county leaders who are committed to making investments in young children from prenatal to age three. To learn more, visit