Editor's note: The Vail Daily is running a series of articles on nonprofits that are participating in Colorado Gives Day, Dec. 4.
Since March of 2000, the Family Learning Center has been providing affordable, high quality early childhood learning programs in our community for 125-plus children aged 8 weeks to 6 years. Hours of operation are year-round, 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to accommodate working families. The on-site kitchen allows for nourishing meals and snacks, which are especially important to many of our children whose families are struggling to put food on the table. The group "levels the playing field" and graduates enter primary school ready to learn.
The trustees of the foundation are committed to supporting a tuition assistance fund, which is critical to the attendance of over 75 percent of the children enrolled. Tuition assistance is need-based and calculated using a sliding fee scale so families pay tuition in accord with their financial ability.
Approximately three-quarters of the budget is covered by student tuition and contracts to serve Early Head Start and Colorado Preschool Program students; the remaining approximately $300,000 needs to be raised through grants, special events and donations.
The economic conditions facing our young families have resulted in an increase of need-based tuition support from 25 percent in 2009 to over 75 percent of our children in 2012. The declining support from individuals, foundations and local government has added to its economic difficulty, and additional community support would be helpful as it tries to weather the economic downturn.
The group offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities, from classroom support to resource development and special events. If you have a passion for young children - please join the center in supporting our community's youngest residents. Contact Cherie Paller at 970-926-4504 if you would like additional information.