Clear Creek urgently needs more child care options for families and the school district now has an opportunity to help meet that need.
A portion of Building 103 should be used for a community early childhood education center.
Like health care, housing and transportation, child care is essential for a thriving, successful community.
According to the Kids Count data book, in 2020 there were 405 children under the age of five in the county.
Currently, there are 47 licensed childcare seats in our community, not including preschool.
Where are those 358 young children spending their days?
The majority of young children live in households where all parents work, so where are those children spending their time?
Most families are just trying to piece child caretogether, often relying on families, friends, and neighbors to care for their children in their own homes. That might be a fantastic, enriching setting, but it might not.
The result can be that for some children, there may be a lack of access to a consistent, nurturing, attentive caregiver who understands what young children need to grow and thrive. Research by the Harvard Center for the Developing Child tells us that responsive relationships early in life arethe mostimportant factor in building a sturdy brain architecture in young children. That architectureis like the foundation of a house, it establishes a base upon which everything else is built.
While parents will always be a child’s first and most important teacher, child care is a necessity for most families. And, reliable, high-quality care and education provides so many benefits for young children.
Decades of research show that early childhood education contributes to the development of cognitive and social-emotional skills including attentiveness, persistence, motivation, self-control, and teamwork – which helps children prepare for school.
It is notable that those attributes closely match Clear Creek School District’s learner profile, which includes adaptability, collaboration, communication and character.
In addition, when children are ready for school before kindergarten, they are more likely to be successful students and have better long-term life outcomes.
The early years are the most effective timeto invest in nurturing, high-quality care and learning experiences.
As a professional who has worked to support the early childhood field these past 15 years, I strongly encourage the Board of Education to prioritize an early childhood education center in Building 103 to support our youngest learners, our families and our community.
Liz Houston, Evergreen