City of Aspen awards cash to early childhood educators |

City of Aspen awards cash to early childhood educators

Financial awards aimed at retaining and recruiting essential workers in Aspen

Staff report
Taxpayer-funded Kids First program making progress on Aspen City Council two-year goal.
File photo

Kids First, the city of Aspen’s taxpayer-based early childhood resource center, rewarded 51 teachers and directors with $38,000 in VIP awards for the first half of 2022. 

Another award cycle has begun with more payouts scheduled for December 2022, according to a press release.

The VIP program is part of Kids First’s quality improvement goal with a designated outcome of retaining high-quality staff in early childhood education programs and encouraging teachers to further their training and education, according to the city. 

All teachers and directors working at a program in Pitkin County are eligible for up to $2,400 per year and some programs offer matching awards. 

Teachers and directors earn points, which translate into financial reward by working a certain number of hours each week, completing early childhood education college classes, working in programs with high ratings through the state, receiving coaching on early childhood education, participating in trainings and general professional development. 

Program teachers and directors who received awards are from Aspen Sprouts, Early Learning Center, Growing Years and Wildwood School. 

All programs in Pitkin County are eligible to apply for the reward twice a year.

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