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Posted on: June 7, 2023

Kids First announces $50,000 for high-risk preschoolers throughout summer

PRESS RELEASE

Kids First announces $50,000 for high-risk preschoolers throughout summer

City of Aspen childcare program to fund Colorado Preschool Program children

Aspen, Colorado – June 7, 2023 - Kids First, a leading advocate for quality early childhood care and education in the City of Aspen, is pleased to announce the allocation of $50,000 to fund uninterrupted childcare for 24 high-risk children enrolled in the Colorado Preschool Program (CPP). This initiative aims to provide essential support and development opportunities for vulnerable children during June, July, and August of 2023.

CPP serves as a lifeline for high-risk 4-year-olds, equipping them with the necessary tools for a successful transition into kindergarten. However, the lack of funding for summer programming puts these children at risk of experiencing developmental setbacks due to the interruption in their childcare. Recognizing this urgent need, Kids First has set aside funds to ensure that these children have access to quality childcare two days a week throughout the summer.

Research shows that the first five years of a child's life play a crucial role in their intellectual, social, and emotional development. It is imperative that Kids First provide a consistent and nurturing environment for high-risk children during the summer to mitigate any potential learning or social-emotional delays.

To address this gap in funding, Kids First will be implementing a specialized financial aid program, specifically targeting the funding and access needs of high-risk children who have been identified through the screening process conducted by Aspen Family Connections and the Aspen School District. These children, who receive state funding through CPP during the school year, currently face a lack of consistent quality childcare during the summer months.

Kids First aims to introduce this funded family option starting in May 2024, prioritizing the development of a financial aid program that will cater to the unique unmet needs of families in our community. 

“By ensuring access to quality early childhood education and care during the summer, we are paving the way for these children to thrive and succeed in their academic journey,” said Nancy Nichols, Kids First co-manager. “The commitment to the continued development of high-risk children through accessible and stable summer options demonstrates our unwavering dedication to the well-being of the children in our community.”

As a champion for quality, affordable early childhood care and education, Kids First remains dedicated to providing resources, information, and support to ensure that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential. 

For further information about Kids First and its initiatives, please contact: Megan Monaghan, Kids First Co-Manager at megan.monaghan@aspen.gov or (970) 920-1978.

Contacts:

Nancy Nichols, Kids First Co-Manager, nancy.nichols, or (970) 975-3234

Carolyn Sackariason, Communications Coordinator, Carolyn.sackariason@aspen.gov or (970) 319-2791

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