To the editor:

We are writing to share the work recently started to bring in-home child care opportunities to Manitou Springs. Through partnerships with Manitou Springs School District 14, Pikes Peak State College and Early Connections Learning Center, we are presenting new opportunities and financial support (from federal and state funding sources) for community members to become licensed in-home child care providers.

Manitou Springs Elementary School and Ute Pass Elementary School have exceptional half-day preschool programs for 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds. So we share in advance that this communication is related to needs around birth to 3 options, not our current school district preschool programs.

Experts and agencies in the Pikes Peak region consider Manitou Springs and the Ute Pass area to be a “child care desert.” At a time when early child care options (birth to 3) are limited in our area, we believe it is important to share resources that are available for members of our community to have licensed child care in their home.

Our goal is to promote and support three to five new daytime child care homes in Manitou Springs. The hope is to provide these services to D14 staff initially and then expand to city employees and/or Manitou Springs-based employees.

An eventual goal is to understand how our school district employees can have access to affordable and high-quality birth to 3-year-old child care opportunities in our community.

Upcoming meetings will share information about what it means and what is required to become an in-home family child care provider.

Contact Josie Watters at 719-381-4814 or to RSVP for one of these local meetings:

10 a.m. or 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17;

5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30; or 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 1.

With enthusiasm for what is possible, Elizabeth Domangue, D14 superintendent

Ken Jaray,

Supporting community philanthropy

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