Grant Streamlines Preschool Funding
by Martinique Davis
Jan 30, 2013 | 1103 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
STORYTIME – Pre-schoolers laughed and listened to the story, "Old Woman Who Swallowed A Fly," at the Hug-A-Bear Child Care and Learning Center located at 118 Apollo road in Montrose Tuesday afternoon. The learning facility is participating in the Early Learning Ventures new pilot project. (Photo by William Woody)
STORYTIME – Pre-schoolers laughed and listened to the story, "Old Woman Who Swallowed A Fly," at the Hug-A-Bear Child Care and Learning Center located at 118 Apollo road in Montrose Tuesday afternoon. The learning facility is participating in the Early Learning Ventures new pilot project. (Photo by William Woody)
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TRI-COUNTY AREA – Some local childcare centers will receive a helping hand in 2013, when the nonprofit Bright Futures for Early Childhood and Families, together with the Denver-based Early Learning Ventures, launches a new pilot project.

Eight preschools – including Mountain Munchkins in Mountain Village, A Step Ahead in Olathe, Hug a Bear in Montrose and Little Friends in RIdgway – will have access to a computer-based program offering resources for administrators and staff that range from helping with state licensing compliance to providing outreach and research on the latest preschool practices. The goal is to free up time for teachers and staff to enable them to focus more on providing a high-quality curriculum.

The schools will receive the service free of cost for the next 12 months.

ELV Project Manager for Bright Futures Tina Purcell, who has been busy setting up the program and training staff in both, says the concept has been enthusiastically received.

She describes Bright Futures as a regional resource center providing help and guidance for childcare centers, teachers and families.

ELV, created with the goal of jump-starting quality improvement initiatives at childcare centers across Colorado, has worked with Bright Futures on the tri-county region’s new pilot project because “time is money,” and the EVL platform “can help early childcare centers find more time and thus money that they can then spend on curriculum building.”

Participants can access EVL’s web-based LIVE Resource Center for free online business tools, training and support, and utilize an online web-based system for help with the paperwork and preparation for state agencies.

“It’s a way for centers to organize their materials, take actions, print reports,” Purcell explains. Area preschools will participate in the ELV program on two levels. The Tier One level offers access to Early Learning Ventures’ “Shared Services” Platform and the online resource center; Tier Two schools will have access to the platform in addition to a specialized sign-in kiosk for parents. Tier Two ELV Platform participants include the Telluride Early Learning Center and Telluride Preschool; Norwood’s Prime Time and Norwood Preschool centers are in the development phase of Tier Two projects.

Early Learning Ventures was developed as a philanthropic endeavor of The Merage Foundation, with the intention of providing the tools and supports providers need to stay independent, saving time and money and strengthening their business models

Bright Futures is a regional nonprofit dedicated to providing state of the art resources to Early Childhood Educators, ECC Providers, Parents and Children ages infant to 5 years old in San Miguel, Ouray, Montrose and Gunnison Counties.

For more information, contact Marcie Steckler, BFECF Project Manager, or Purcell, at 970/728-5613; or email tina@brightfuturesforchildren.org or visit www.brightfuturesforchildren.org.
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