Eagle County to recognize May as Month of the Young Child
The Eagle County Board of Commissioners will adopt a resolution at its Tuesday, May 17, meeting proclaiming May as “The Month of the Young Child.” The resolution underscores the fundamental impact of investment in early childhood for Eagle County and its families.
The resolution will be considered at 10 a.m. Tuesday. An event with the commissioners and local families is planned to follow at 11:30 a.m. in the courtyard. Both are open to the media and the public.
“Simply put, child care work makes all other work possible for Eagle County families,” said Eagle County Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney. “Local government plays an important role here, but everyone in our community — businesses, faith-based organizations, and residents — can all contribute to our future through partnerships and targeted investment in our youngest residents and their families.”
In 2021, Eagle County Human Services invested more than $1.5 million to support early childhood programs, serving children and their families from birth to age 5. This included more than $800,000 in early childhood provider support programs, and nearly $350,000 each in direct support to the community and in rental assistance grants for licensed early childhood providers. With child care costs in Eagle County 53 percent higher than the median for Colorado, continued investment represents vital support for families, and the county as a whole.
Approximately 3,605 children ages 5 and younger call Eagle County home. They and their families are served by 41 licensed child care centers and 347 early childhood educators. Early childhood investment assists in meeting a range of needs required to deliver quality early childhood care. That includes assistance in overhead costs for rent or mortgages which can be several thousand dollars per month for some providers. Funding has also helped Eagle County providers offer salaries, bonuses, and hiring incentives to attract and keep qualified staff.
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Local child care providers attest to the impact county support has had on their operations. Tangible benefits reported include the ability to hire and retain high quality staff, provide meals for the children, purchase school supplies, and make on-site safety enhancements.