Kudos to Kids First | AspenTimes.com

Kudos to Kids First

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:

Childcare and Kids First in our community is no laughing matter, nor is it a joke. Childcare is one of the most important services provided to the children and families of our community. We need to stand together and support our community’s childcare facilities, their employees and the organizations that support them.

I am director of Roaring Fork Kids, a nonprofit childcare center in the Yellow Brick Building. Since the beginning of our organization, we have set our goals high. We have managed to keep our staff turnover to a minimum, the quality of our program is always improving, and the children and their families are of utmost importance. It is extremely important to us to create an atmosphere in our center that resembles a big family, where we all take care of each other.

Kids First is an amazing department of the city of Aspen, and we are extremely lucky to have them available to our childcare center, the families who have their children enrolled in our program, and the teachers who are employed at our school.

Kids First was instrumental in the creation of our facility. They helped us organizationally and financially, providing emergency funding to open our doors with a seamless transition from Kids Club to Roaring Fork Kids.

Since then, Kids First has been supportive in many different ways: the annual Kids First grant; access to two resource teachers to substitute in our program; bus pass reimbursements; professional development money; nurse consultant reimbursements; overall mentoring and training support for teachers and directors; and the newly established teacher education incentive/health-wellness bonus.

With the help of Kids First, we are not only able to maintain our program, but keep improving it as well.

Many people benefit everyday from the support of Kids First. In addition to the annual grant money schools receive to subsidize their programs, Kids First has established a financial aid program for families who qualify.

In 2004 alone, Roaring Fork Kids will receive more than $ 100,000 from Kids First. This $100,000 does not include the money they provide to families for tuition assistance.

The money from the childcare/housing tax has not been lost and is benefiting children now – and it will benefit children for generations to come.

The childcare/housing tax was one of the best things that happened to our community for young children. It has allowed Kids First to exist, and it has allowed them to support childcare centers and the people involved with them.

I would like to invite everyone in the community to our center in the Yellow Brick to see what the tax and Kids First has done for us, and what we are in turn giving to the children of our community. Children are our future and should be our highest priority, as they are at Roaring Fork Kids.

Christina Holloway

Roaring Fork Kids