When addressing large issues like lack of childcare and affordable housing, I find it incredibly important that we are looking at other mountain communities. While Estes Park is unique in many ways, considering how other towns have accomplished these goals makes for more efficient decision making. Consider Breckenridge in regards to addressing childcare in Estes Park. I know current Town Trustees and individuals involved in solving the issue of childcare in our community have looked at this model and we have many things in common.
In early 2006 the Breckenridge Town Council created a Child Care Task Force in response to parent, employer, and child care provider 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 Centers were struggling to keep their doors open and provide quality care 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:
Link: Breckenridge Child Care Program