Colorado Kids day care opening soon in Rifle
RIFLE, Colorado – Rebecca Hale is the energy behind Colorado Kids, a new nonprofit preschool-based facility located at 232 W. Third St. in Rifle. She saw a great need, and began to focus her attention to bring a quality preschool option to Rifle.”I’m a mother of three, all under the age of 5,” Hale began. “When we moved here and looked into day care and preschool, all the places we looked at were unacceptable, or only available four hours per day, 3-4 days per week. I started talking to mothers, and everybody was talking about the same thing.”In the 1,700-square-foot facility, children from infant to age 7 may be enrolled, with the opening date targeted for Oct. 5.”Our facility goal is to be Qualistar-rated from the very beginning, and we want to provide a consistent loving place for kids to go and feel good and know they will be safe, well cared-for and educated at the same time,” she continued.Many requirements are needed to become Qualistar-rated. A good Qualistar rating means there is a diversity in lesson plans and music. Tables and chairs should be expandable for different child heights. A Qualistar rating holds the facility to a much higher quality than the state or government.By word of mouth and without advertising, the facility already has nine children enrolled.Helping her with this project are Dana Damm with Garfield County Human Services and Joni Goodwin of Kids First, both with years of experience in the child care field. Hale is also working with the Aspen Community Foundation to buy the building within a year to give the community a consistent quality place for its children.Garfield County has given Colorado Kids a start-up grant for use on nonconsumables, such as child-size furniture, the fence and pea gravel and paint brushes, but not paint or concrete or paper and pencils. “There are a lot of kids who are being toted to three or more places in one day because the other facilities, including the preschool programs at the elementary schools, are held for only about three hours a day for each child,” Hale said. “Parents can’t get a second job when their child has to be picked up and taken somewhere else. Some of these kids are as young as 3, and they are being bused from one place to the next.”Colorado Kids wants to make picking up and dropping off children flexible and easy, with policy and procedures covering all necessary safety issues.Hale is planning to host an opening house to invite parents and such to help with enrollment, but she is still unsure of the date. Parents may call Rebecca at (970) 274-2023, come by Hale’s office at 300 Railroad Ave. in Rifle, or Hale can mail prospective parents a packet to fill out and send back.Hale is in need of a qualified director, group leaders and helper aides. To open with 30 children, a qualified director must be in the facility at least 65 percent of the time, three to five days per week. Without the qualified director, the facility may open with 15 children. Hale is hoping to find just the right person to fit in with her vision of a quality preschool-based facility.Hale would like anyone who is preschool director-qualified or with group leader qualifications who is seriously interested in helping to provide quality education and care with Colorado Kids, to contact her as soon as possible.
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