The goals of the Breckenridge Child Care Program are:
- Improve accessibility and affordability of quality early child care for local families and workforce.
- Ensure families are not unduly cost-burdened regardless of their income and amount of care.
- Help Centers achieve sustainable budgets, while providing quality care, maintaining sufficient reserves, and retaining and compensating teachers.
- The public investment should result in positive impact on child and family outcomes.
Accessible and affordable Child Care is a hot topic nation wide. The Town of Breckenridge is taking a proactive approach to meet the needs of local families, and employers by addressing the issue through a variety of tools and strategies. In the Upper Blue Valley where Breckenridge is located 85% of all parents work, making child care and all that it entails an important and vital resources for our families and their employers.
In early 2006 the Breckenridge Town Council created a Child Care Task Force in response to community concerns about the lack of capacity (child care slots), the long wait lists, and the inability of Centers to retain staff, provide quality care, and cover their costs through tuition and fund raising. Employees were missing work because child care was not available, families were leaving the community because of the cost of living and lack of accessible care, and Child Care Centers were struggling to keep their doors open and provide the quality care at affordable rates for families that is particularly important and impactful during a child’s first 5 years.
The Task Force recommended a multi-prong approach to address the issues and the Breckenridge Town Council launched the Child Care Program in late 2006. Based on the Task Force recommendations, the Child Care Program included the following components:
- Increase Capacity with the Construction of Timberline Learning Center & 2016 purchase of Breckenridge Montessori's Building
Direct Financial Assistance to the Non-Profit Centers to pay off their Mortgages and Redirect those Funds to a Capital Reserve Funds for a more sustainable business model
Invest in Teachers Program - in 2018 the Town Council designated $150,000 in funds to be directed to Teacher Salaries at our 4 Partner Schools in an effort to increase teacher retention.
EC Cares - In partnership with Summit County Government & the Right Start Project teachers at all licensed centers county wide have free unlimited access to the Community Care Clinic and School Based Health Centers for Acute Care, Well Care and Behavioral Health.
Since launching the Program in 2006, the Town of Breckenridge has received recognition from other communities and from family advocates for its support of children and families. This includes the 2007 Champions for Children awarded by Early Childhood Options.
Now over ten years later the Town created a new full time staff position to administer our Child Care Program. In addition to running our Tuition Assistance Program our new program coordinator is there to help seek out and implement opportunities for schools to partner together and find efficiency's through shared services and group training. As a result of this work, our program assures that working families have access to affordable quality early child care and can still make Breckenridge their home.
In endorsing the Child Care Program the Town Council determined that public support of child care is an important investment in the community and that quality early child care benefits families, children, employers, and the community at large. Investment in child care helps ensure that Breckenridge is a viable option for families. For information on the benefits of quality early child care and for information on the estimated return on investment and economic impact of child care see the following reports:
The Importance of Early Care and Education (brain development, school readiness, social outcomes)
Impacts of Child Care in Summit County (estimated $6 million economic impact in Summit County)
Early Childhood Education for All-A Wise Investment (estimated return of investment (ROI) of $10-$17 for every $1 invested)
Three Core Concepts in Early Brain Development (ReadyNation a business partnership for early childhood and economic success)
To learn more about the Town of Breckenridge's Child Care Initiatives download our 2018 Annual Report, our 2018 Needs Assessment and Child Care Program Milestones, APA Evaluation of the Town Program here.
If you are in need of child care please contact one of the local Centers for enrollment and curriculum information (listed below) or contact Early Childhood Options at (970) 513-1170 to inquire about in home care or other options.