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Local nonprofit building new early childhood education facility

Posted at 12:41 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 21:03:41-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — A Colorado Springs non-profit is creating more opportunity for childcare.

Early Connections Learning Centers plans to replace its historic childcare center at Antlers Place with a new state-of-the-art early education center.

"The Early Connections at the Antler's Place was a facility that was built in 1953 and then added on in 1973. It is a bit nonfunctional for today's operations, it's just not the quality facility that our program is," said Diane Price, President and CEO of Early Connections Learning Centers.

The new early education center, to be named after Early Connections’ benefactress Alice Bemis Taylor at the request of contributor to the project, El Pomar Foundation, will create new opportunities for families to access high quality care for infants, toddlers and preschool children.

"Our new facility will be located on the same piece of property, further west on our property. We'll almost double our capacity down here. What's most exciting is that we'll be adding capacity for infants and toddlers which is such a need for our community and young families," said Price.

Providing care for babies hadn't been possible with the existing location due to stairs.

"The cost of infant and toddler care can be much higher than a mortgage per month. We really need to think about establishing programs that are affordable for families and allow them to work and go to school," said Price.

The nonprofit has launched the Building Futures campaign to help raise $9.5 million to replace the building, and refurbish the Historic Day Nursery Building at 104 E Rio Grande.

The new facility will also feature a regional professional development center, offering continuing education services to early childhood education professionals and create opportunity to recruit, train and increase the number of qualified teachers in Southern Colorado.

"We really want to help them get into the field, into classrooms, and make sure we have quality staff," said Price.

The current childcare center will remain open while the new one is being built. It's expected to open next fall for families.

For those interested in the campaign click here. Resources for childcare can be found at CDHS and Colorado Shines websites.