Glenwood’s Valley View Hospital closes child care center |

Glenwood’s Valley View Hospital closes child care center

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Valley View Hospital recently closed the Early Learning Center, which provides hospital employees with childcare.

The move left several of its employees without much-needed childcare.

However, according to administrative director of human resources Daniel Biggs, hospital administration is doing all it can to come up with a short-term and long-term alternative.

“The center is not closing,” Biggs said. “We are moving to a new location and we are trying to figure that out at this very moment.”

Biggs hopes to have ” at least ” a temporary childcare program up and running by June 9, but said that it could take a little longer to get something set up. In the meantime, about 47 employees are without childcare.

“At the moment we are not providing day care services, but our hope is to have something together very soon,” Biggs said.

The Early Learning Center has been in the current location since December of 1999. Reasons for the closure are due to a compromise of structural integrity at the old building on Blake Avenue. A letter sent to VVH employees affected by the temporary closure stated the following:

“Over the past two days we’ve had some of our engineers looking at the structural integrity of the childcare buildings and they’ve determined, in the best interest of safety of your children, we close the building today and not operate our Early Learning Center in them until action is taken to make them more safe.”

The childcare center accommodated 23 children at any one time, according to Biggs, has 10 part- and full-time employees that work there, and has always had a number of employees wait listed for service. But the situation isn’t as grave as it may sound, Biggs said.

“The facility is old and was determined that it will no longer suit our purposes,” Biggs said.

In regards to the letter and immediate closing of the facility, Biggs said, “We may be overreacting a little, but we’d rather be safe.”

But according to one VVH employee, who wished to remain anonymous, she said that administration has known about the problems for up to five years, and it was never treated like a “top priority.”

Biggs had no comment on how long the hospital has known about the structural issues, because he has been there for less than the five-year period.

“Those buildings have been aging for a long time,” Biggs said. “But the decision to make a change in location was fairly recent.”

The VVH employee’s major concern was not knowing the duration they would be without childcare. But Biggs was adamant that the situation is being handled as quickly and swiftly as possible.

“We are going over many different prospects, from short-term to long-term situations,” Biggs said. “It’s too soon to say where we will land, but we do have some good prospects in motion.”

Closing the old facility does bring with it new options, according to Biggs, who was optimistic that hospital administration was looking to improve on the childcare center in terms of capacity and quality.

Biggs has already set his sights high on the new facility.

“I can’t really go into specifics, other than I’m dreaming big at the moment,” Biggs said. “I think that the hospital will come up with a plan that suits our needs and the needs of its employees.”

The main reason Biggs said that employees shouldn’t worry about the childcare program being closed for good, is that it’s a real asset for the employees of VVH.

“It is invaluable,” Biggs said of the program. “We have to have it. In fact we are going to build it bigger and better. This is an opportunity to make it even better than before.”

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

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