Location: Denver, CO
Organization: Healthy Child Care Colorado
Taran Schneider is the Director of Healthy Child Care Colorado which is part of a nationwide initiative coordinated by the American Academy of Pediatrics to ensure that early childhood programs and health professionals adhere to the highest health, safety, and wellness standards. Healthy Child Care Colorado and Qualistar work together to improve everyday practice of early childhood professionals and build safe, supportive environments. In her role, Taran leads the Child Care Health Consultation Statewide Network, health-related professional development experiences for early childhood professionals, and advocacy efforts related to health, safety, and wellness policies and practices in early childhood settings across Colorado. Taran joined the team in 2014 as the State Network Director of Colorado Child Care Resource and Referral. In this role, Taran led a comprehensive system of supports and standards for the statewide Child Care Resource and Referral network and worked to ensure that services were a recognized and valued resource in all Colorado communities. Prior to joining Qualistar, Taran worked directly with early childhood professionals, families and children, and was instrumental in building broad coalitions to improve and support early childhood in Southern Minnesota. She was instrumental with MinneMinds, a successful grassroots advocacy campaign that created early learning scholarships for low-income families to access quality early childhood programming. She also worked closely with Child Care Aware® of Minnesota and Child Care Aware® of America on the Minnesota State Leadership Team that created a statewide system of supports and respite care for military families. Taran is the 2011 recipient of the National Military Family Association’s Service Award and 2012 recipient of the Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association’s Advocate of the Year Award. Taran holds an associate degree in child development and a bachelor’s degree in professional leadership from Winona State University in Minnesota. Taran has completed fellowships in early childhood advocacy and collaborative leadership in Minnesota. She also was selected to be among a small cohort for the competitive Buell Early Childhood Leadership Fellowship.