Child care coming to Berry Creek |

Child care coming to Berry Creek

Veronica Whitney

Eagle County commissioners have agreed to advance $500,000 for the construction of 5,200-square-foot child care and community center.

Construction on the center, part of the 282-unit affordable-housing development in Edwards, is scheduled to start in the spring, says Becky Gadell, Eagle County assistant administrator.

The child-care center would accommodate 45 infant, toddlers and pre-schoolers from six weeks to 5 years old. And it will be open to families from throughout the area, says Kathleen Forinash, director of Eagle County Health and Human Services.

“We already have 10 kids – eight under 12 months (old) – on the waiting list,” Forinash says. “Some haven’t been born yet.”

Forinash says there is a large need for child care in the valley, especially for infants and toddlers.

“We did a survey of Edwards businesses, and we know that at least 18 businesses want to reserve spaces,” she says.

Thirty of the 45 spaces at the center will be for children under the age of 3, she says.

“The Vail Valley is a place where it takes two incomes to make ends meet. That’s why it’s so important to have child care availability,” Forinash says.

There are 16 licensed child care centers and 24 licensed child care homes in Eagle County, Forinash says.

“This will be a quality child care center with an ideal size,” she adds.

Gadell says the Eagle Valley Childcare Association has expressed interest in operating the center.

“There is potential for the facility to be a site for Head Start and Early Head Start,” Gadell adds.

Forinash says the cost for day-care at Berry Creek will be average for the Edwards area – about $33 a day for older children and $40 a day for infants and toddlers.

Eagle County is designing the center and ASW Reality, developers of the affordable-housing project at Berry Creek, may construct it as a part of the housing complex. Planners envision the combination community center-child-care center with 3,000 square feet for child care and 1,200 square feet for the community center. The community center and child care center may share some facilities, such as a parking lot and kitchen.

“The community center will be similar to the Singletree community center with some meeting rooms and a kitchen,” says Eagle County Commissioner Tom Stone.

The estimated cost is $800,000 for design and construction of the community and child care center, says Rich Cunningham, Eagle County’s director of facilities management. About 70 percent of that would be funded as part of a $2,000 fee charged to the buyers of a house at Miller Ranch, a housing of 13 single-family homes, 18 duplexes, 26 townhomes and 46 mill lofts. Once this money is collected, the county will get its advance reimbursed.

The rest of the money would come through community support and a possible state grant.

“We think it’s appropriate, as the developers of the project, that we facilitate the construction of a child care center to serve the residents,” Stone says.

For more information, call Forinash at 328-8858.

Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at

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