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Eagle County, Valley Settlement Work To Address Early Childhood Educator Shortage

Eagle County is extending their partnership with nonprofit Valley Settlement to address a severe shortage of early childcare educators.



There’s a high demand for infant and toddler care in the Roaring Fork Valley. But last year, the turnover for daycare and preschool teachers in Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties was over 43 percent; many of those jobs had at least two teachers leave within a year.  

That’s according to Leigh Carlson-Hernandez, the Early Childhood Systems Coordinator for Eagle County.

This year, the county is funding a Valley Settlement initiative that provides interpreters for Spanish-speakers going through early childhood educator certification programs.

Carlson-Hernandez says the hope is that removing the language barrier will both lead to a greater supply of teachers, and serve a population that is increasingly Spanish-speaking.

"They’re really trying to increase the number of individuals that can provide care for children in a language that those children are familiar with," she said.  

The county will give Valley Settlement just over $19,000 for the initiative for 2019.


Contributor Christin Kay is passionate about the rich variety of arts, cultural experiences and stories in the Roaring Fork Valley. She has been a devotee of public radio her whole life. Christin is a veteran of Aspen Public Radio, serving as producer, reporter and interim news director.