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Kids First

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The City of Aspen and Colorado Mountain College's Aspen campus are working together on a new program that could possibly expand infant child care services in town.

Before House Bill 1262 passed a week ago, Colorado only covered about half the cost of full-day kindergarten. Parents and schools made up the difference.  

Starting next year, kindergarten will be entirely funded by the state, and, on Wednesday, the City of Aspen celebrates the move.


Assistance available for parents of young children

Oct 14, 2016

The cost of childcare in Pitkin County matches that of a mortgage. For families that can’t dole out the funds, there is government assistance available.

“Expect a baby boom”

Apr 19, 2016

The data from a Kids First survey regarding early childcare options was presented to the Aspen City Council last night.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Parker Knight

About one in ten kids in Pitkin County are living in poverty. That’s according to a statewide study discussed in Aspen last week. Officials with the Colorado Children’s Campaign visited with parents, elected leaders and child care workers about their latest findings. Shirley Ritter is a child advocate who runs Kids First — an Aspen center subsidized by taxpayers. She spoke with Marci Krivonen.

Shirley Ritter directs Kids First for the city of Aspen. 

Aspen Panel Discusses Early Childhood Education

Jan 21, 2015
Creative Commons/Flickr/Nicholas Wang

More families in the Roaring Fork Valley need access to affordable early childhood education. That was the message from a panel discussion in Aspen Tuesday. Aspen’s mayor joined four others from the non profit and business sectors on stage at the Wheeler. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Creative Commons/Google/US Navy

Colorado has the fifth highest cost of childcare for infants. According to a report released last Fall, families fork over more than $12,000 a year to put their baby in a childcare center. In the Roaring Fork Valley, that amount skyrockets to more than $17,000 annually. It’s comparable to college tuition. One Aspen center is working to make childcare more affordable.