New early childhood center to open in August
by Darrin Peppard
West Grand Superintendent
What is the most important age in a child’s life from an educational standpoint? Tough question indeed, and one could make a valid argument for any age between 0-18. Yet, research is very clear on the importance of high-quality early childhood education and the impact for long term success for children. It is for that reason, among many others, I am very proud to announce the next BIG thing for West Grand. (drumroll please….)
In August, West Grand will open an early childhood center to service families of 0-3+ aged children in our community. We are quite fortunate to be in this beautiful location and to have access to such great outdoor amenities. Yet, a challenge certainly exists for us in Kremmling. The challenge is the availability of licensed daycare for children. This past August, one of the two licensed daycare providers announced she would close her doors before the school year began. That meant moving forward in Kremmling we would have only one, yes one, licensed daycare provider. The one provider does amazing work, no doubt, but with the number of younger people moving into our community one provider cannot meet the needs of a whole community. This is where we decided to step in and help fix the problem.
Beginning last September, a partnership began forming between WGSD, Kremmling Preschool, and Middle Park Health (MPH). Both MPH and WGSD have a number of younger employees who have, or are having, infants and young children. To keep from losing these amazing people due to lack of child care, we decided to open our own child care center to meet those needs and keep those employees here in Kremmling. Among the critical elements of the plan, MPH would open a community fitness center, which had been in the works for them for some time. As well, Kremmling Preschool would convert its building (currently Colorado State Patrol) back to a child care facility. Earlier this month, we made the formal decision to close the community fitness center that has been facilitated by West Grand for the past 13 years. This move will enable opening a facility for Colorado State Patrol and keeping them here in the Kremmling community and on our West Grand campuses. Once the center opens, WGSD employees will get the first opportunity for the slots, followed by Middle Park Health employees, then slots will be open to our general community members.
Early childhood education and care is an essential element for the long-term health and well-being of any young person. We are truly fired up to be able to provide this much-needed support and service to Kremmling and its residents. This true community partnership really represents how together #WeAreWestGrand!!!