Release Date: May 9, 2020
Downtown #Strongmont Business of the Day: Aspen Center for Child Development
Downtown #Strongmont Business of the Day -
As a branch of the OUR Center (Outreach United Resource Center, Inc), Aspen Center for Child Development has been providing compassionate care for children 6 weeks to 6 years old in a fun learning environment since 1989. With more than 15 qualified teachers and substitutes, it’s their passion to provide families with childhood excellence. They provide child care, preschool, and school readiness programs that enhance the social, intellectual, physical, and emotional well-being for children and families from all income levels in and around the Longmont community. The Aspen Center is one of only two 5-star Colorado Shines-rated preschools in Boulder County. It emphasizes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) designed to leverage children's natural curiosity and to foster a lifelong proficiency in the disciplines.
Watch their new video below, follow them on Facebook or visit their website to find out more about their services.
Q & A with Elizabeth Fannon, Director
Q: Why you decided to open in Downtown Longmont?
A: The Aspen Center is a program of the Outreach United Resource Center, Inc. (OUR Center). The Aspen Center building on 5th Ave. and Kimbark St. was built in 1934 and has a historic significance as the previous Post Office in Longmont. The Downtown Longmont location and close proximity to the OUR Center on 3rd Ave. provides a perfect central location for Longmont families to receive excellent childcare so that they can provide for their families. The convenient location is also essential for our population since 40% are low-income and the savings in gas and time spent traveling can provide needed flexibility in the family budget.
Q: How can your customers make Aspen Center their own favorite place, and how can they take ownership of supporting you during this time?
A: Our customers make Aspen Center a favorite place by learning, playing and growing alongside their Aspen Center teachers. The children have hands-on learning activities across the STEAM domains that help them grow and learn every day. Children have a nature-based outdoor playground that features a music wall, mud kitchen, sun-shaded grassy space, and natural wood fenced fort. The are also part of growing their own garden each year. We have been involved in a movement of schools promoting more healthy local foods and help children develop an optimal relationship with food and nutrition. We partner with programs like Farm to Preschool and HEAL (Healthy Living and Active Living) to help achieve these initiatives. The Aspen Center also believes in promoting exercise to encourage healthy students and participate in “I am Moving and I am Learning”, a CO Department of Public Health and Environment initiative.
Another feature that makes Aspen Center a favorite place and equitable resource is that fees are based on family size and income and are competitive, if not lower than, other facilities in the marketplace. In addition to government tuition assistance programs, the Aspen Center offers scholarships on a sliding scale basis for families that do not qualify for other tuition assistance.
Our donors and community can help support Aspen Center by donating supplies (https://www.aspenchildcare.org/donate-items/#/) or donating financially online at www.ourcenter.org/donate (designate Aspen Center).
When the school reopens there will be many protocols for safety we will follow, including strict cleaning and disinfecting guidelines. Donations of Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, latex gloves, and bleach would be incredibly helpful to our staff.
Q: Why and how did you get into your line of business?
A: Aspen Center began as a program of the OUR Center in order to serve low-income families who were having trouble finding affordable childcare. This support enables them to be able to gain full-time employment while entrusting their children to reputable, 5-star Colorado Shines rated education. Our director and staff are passionate about childcare and providing a safe place for the social, intellectual, physical, and emotional well-being of children.
Q. What do you enjoy most about doing business?
A: The Aspen Center staff builds amazing relationships with children and their families. We count it a true gift that parents trust us with their children each day. The fact that we get to spend our days in the company of so many wonderful children, learning alongside them, brings us all a lot of joy. Our staff and teachers have a passion for early childhood education. We love learning and genuinely enjoy forming strong young minds into the next generation of community members. We also have a desire to help vulnerable, low-income members of our community. Childcare allows parents to find employment and provide a better quality of life for their children.
Q: What differentiates you from other businesses?
A: We believe that our highly-rated staff, wrap-around programs, and approach to teaching and learning are not only the right thing to do for our children and their families but they are an outward expression of the passion we have to be a leader in child development in the St. Vrain Valley. In addition to our qualifications and programs, we maintain a low child-to-teacher ratio (lower than state requirements), and 100% of our graduating preschoolers are rated “kindergarten ready.” Since we are a program of the OUR Center, families enrolled at the Aspen Center are able to access the valuable resources the OUR Center has to offer such as housing/rent/utility assistance, meals, groceries, emergency shelter and more.
As families prepare for summer and fall child care needs, we want to encourage them to reach out to us by emailing me. I am happy to arrange a virtual tour and conversation about enrolling their child.
During the Stay at Home order, we'll be featuring a different Downtown Longmont business each day. These small businesses are the heartbeat of our community and are a big reason why this is such a great place to live, work, and play. This is a difficult time for everyone, and small businesses and their owners and employees are no exception.
There are many ways you can support our local small businesses during this time, from liking, following, and sharing their content on social media, to making online or over-the-phone purchases of products or gift cards. You can also donate to the Strongmont Fund, created to support local Longmont businesses negatively affected by COVID-19.