By Jan Santopietro
Special to The SUN
The Archuleta County Education Center (ACEC) has stayed true to its mission to expand early childhood programs and is preparing to open Pagosa Springs’ newest early childhood facility in the fall of 2019.
Wings Early Childhood Center will provide services for more than 40 toddlers and preschoolers. Its mission is to “deliver high-quality, affordable early care and education to children in Archuleta County regardless of income or family structure.”
To that end, Wings Executive Director Dennis Bissmeyer has announced that he is ready to begin the registration process with parents. The process will entail filling out a preregistration form and scheduling an interview to determine next steps for official enrollment at Wings.
Part of the interview will include options for tuition assistance. The ACEC is aware that not all families in Archuleta County can afford the price of quality early childhood education programs.
According to the 2017 Early Care and Education Report, enrollment in a center that provides high-quality early childhood education costs approximately $12,000/year (visit www.wingsearlychildhood.org to view the entire report). A typical family with two young children and a median salary of $48,186 (Archuleta County) will spend approximately 41 percent of its income on early childhood care and education.
The following options are available to families in Archuleta County:
1. Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP). CCCAP provides assistance to children ages birth up to 13 years. Eligibility is based on annual income, Colorado residency and whether parents are working, seeking employment or participating in training/education.
2. Colorado Preschool Program (CPP). CPP provides assistance to children ages 3, 4 or 5. Eligibility is based on several family risk factors.
3. Wings is in the process of creating a sliding scale for tuition that will be based upon family annual income.
If you would like to receive a preregistration form and schedule an interview with Bissmeyer, please email or call Jan Santopietro at email@example.com or 264-6560.
If you are interested in learning more about Wings and the latest updates, please visit www.wingsearlychildhood.org.
By Jan Santopietro