GarCo child-care providers get new support |

GarCo child-care providers get new support

Will Grandbois

Child care providers in Garfield County are getting some extra support thanks to Front Range nonprofit Early Learning Ventures (ELV) and a grant from National Early Head Start.

The county lags in preschool enrollment due to a shortage of licensed child care programs, and was identified by ELV as one of four counties — along with Arapahoe, Mesa and Pueblo — in need of assistance.

“Those were areas in which early Head Start didn’t have a presence, or not enough of one,” explained ELV strategic marketing manager Carli Franks.

Founded by the David & Laura Merage Foundation, ELV brings a network of community partners, regulatory know-how, and tech savvy to small providers that might not otherwise have access. The goal is to improve existing child care businesses and engage families and community in the process, thereby increasing school readiness for young children. There is also an initiative to increase access for services including dental and hearing exams to low-income families.

“We bring a lot of services directly to children, so we can be sure that they are receiving access,” Franks said. “There are a lot of opportunities we’ll be bringing to the classrooms.”

Some local providers are already familiar with ELV’s work.

“I’ve been contracted with ELV for around three years and have found it to be helpful in so many ways,” said Rebecca Fuller of Fuller Childcare. “It gives providers more time in the classroom with the children.”

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