Mile High Early Learning is Denver’s oldest and largest provider of subsidized quality early childhood care and education—serving thousands of Denver’s vulnerable children every year since 1970.

Mile High Early Learning News

Mile High Early Learning is suspending education services starting March 16 through April 20, with services resuming April 21.

Dear Mile High Early Learning Families,

Mile High Early Learning continues to monitor diligently the COVID-19 pandemic as well as direction provided from Governor Polis, Mayor Hancock, Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, CDC, and Denver Health.

Mayor Hancock issued a Stay At Home order that is intended to limit the amount of contact. However, essential businesses are allowed to continue, and many of the services MHEL provides are included as part of an essential business.

For the continued well-being of our children, families, and staff, MHEL will be taking the following steps:

  • The Early Learning Centers will remain closed through April 17 with staff returning to work on April 20, and educational services resuming Tuesday, April 21.
  • Family and Community Advocates will be surveying families about their needs for early care and education.
  • We are exploring the idea of potentially opening some centers or classrooms on a limited basis starting April 13 to see how we can respond to your needs.
  • We will be providing educational resources and activities to you so we can all continue working together in support of your child’s learning.

Additionally, for every family with a parent fee, we will not be charging fees or tuition for any part of April. With the uncertainties that we’re all facing, I hope that this decision will provide some support to you and your family.

Family Services staff are continuing to reach out to support families and exploring other ways to serving our children and families. Please let your Family and Community Advocate know what resources would be helpful to you.

I greatly appreciate your continued understanding through this rapidly evolving situation.



Pamela Harris, PhD, President & CEO

2020 Stone Soup Celebration

After careful consideration and thorough discussions, we made the challenging decision to cancel Stone Soup due to concerns about COVID-19. We plan to honor Walter and Christie Isenberg and recognize our sponsors at an event later this year.

To make a donation in support of Stone Soup, please visit our Stone Soup event page.

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, Anna & John J. Sie Foundation!

Minh Lê is the author of Drawn Together — winner of numerous awards including the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature — and a federal early childhood policy expert.

Demonstrating the spirit of humanity locally, nationally, and around the world.

Master of Arts in Learning, Developmental and Family Sciences

Our Master of Arts program, designed in partnership with University of Colorado Denver, focuses on staff and community early childhood educators who are emerging leaders in the early childhood field. The program focuses on two areas: leadership in urban and diverse communities and family diversity and social justice. Learn more!

Read an overview of the program or learn more.

Child Development Associate (CDA) Training & Seminar

Learn more about and register for our Spring 2020 CDA Training & Seminar! Register here or learn more.

You can also participate in our fully online CDA Training & Seminar. Register here or learn more.

Contact Mikayla Martinez at or (303) 962-2624 with questions.

 Unveiling of Anna Jo Garcia Haynes Early Learning Center

Anna Jo Garcia Haynes

On Saturday, June 30, 2018, Mayor Hancock, joined by city, state and educational leaders, dedicated one of the Mile High Early Learning centers to lifetime civil rights activist and advocate for early childhood education, Anna Jo Garcia Haynes. The center, located at 2851 Tremont Street, is now called the Anna Jo Garcia Haynes Early Learning Center.
Read more


  CDA Gold Standard Awarded to Mile High Early Learning

Mile High Early Learning has been awarded the Child Development Associate (CDA) Gold Standard following a quality review of the organization’s training and student services by the Council for Professional Recognition. The CDA Gold Standard is part of the Council’s early childhood education effort to help CDA students find the high-quality training and student services they need in preparation for a career in early childhood education.

Read the press release from January 2018.

Mile High Early Learning teacher Hannah Weil  received her CDA through Mile High Early Learning’s CDA Program. She teaches at Anna Jo Garcia Haynes Early Learning Center.  

Mile High Early Learning’s Child Development Associate Program Featured in The Atlantic

The Art of Teaching the Youngest Students: A Denver child-care provider hopes an in-house training initiative will better prepare educators for a uniquely difficult field.

Read The Atlantic article from August 2017.

The original article was published by Chalkbeat.

Mile High Early Learning Mission

Our mission is to enable all children to succeed in school by providing resources and education to inspire a lifetime of learning and self-sufficiency.

Our guiding principles are:
  • Every child deserves access to high quality early childhood learning experiences
  • Families and parents are key to children’s success in school and in life.
  • Staff are valued as professionals with opportunities for ongoing professional development.
  • As an inclusive, learning-centered organization, we embrace innovation, assessment, and reflection to continuously improve.
  • Through our programs and advocacy, we promote systems-level impacts that support and improve the field.

Message from the President

Dr. Pamela Harris

Dr. Pamela K. Harris
President and CEO
Mile High Early Learning

Mile High Early Learning has been closing the achievement gap for Denver’s most vulnerable children for almost 50 years. We serve over 8,000 children and families annually. At seven early learning centers in some of Denver’s poorest neighborhoods, we offer year-round early childhood programs for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. We provide training for Family, Friend, & Neighbor (FFN) caregivers through Babies Ready for College, which provides parents and FFN caregivers of young children with vital information about how children’s brains grow and ways to facilitate that growth so that their children will succeed in school. We provide education and training with hands-on practical experiences to early learning professionals through our nationally recognized Professional Learning Center, and operate two drop-in care centers in partnership with the City of Denver.

Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is deeply embedded in our work. Our vision through all of our programming is that children, families, and staff of all racial, cultural, economic, and social backgrounds are joyfully welcomed into a learning community that prioritizes equity and finds strength in diversity. We are inspired to live out this commitment and to share what we are learning so that others in our field can also create equitable early learning programs. It was an honor to accept the 2019 Inclusive Leader Award for Early Childhood Education from GlobalMindED, a nonprofit innovation network of inclusive leaders who are committed to creating a capable, diverse talent pipeline across industries and sectors, nationally and globally. This award recognizes leaders developing and championing inclusive and equitable organizations and practices; it is a testament to Mile High Early Learning’s work around race and equity and represents international recognition for our organization.

I am excited to represent early childhood service providers as a member of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC), Colorado’s federally-authorized state advisory council for early childhood. The role of the ECLC is to be a statewide leader, subject matter expert, and champion of best and promising practices throughout the state. I and 17 other early childhood leaders who serve on the ECLC – including Mile High Early Learning Board Member Kate Kennedy Reinemund and Community Leadership Board Member Bruce Hoyt – will work tirelessly to improve outcomes for young children in Colorado.

I welcome you to join Mile High Early Learning in our work to cultivate every child’s unique potential, and to help us provide children with the resources and education they need to succeed in school.