GILPIN COUNTY, Colo. — Since Gilpin County’s only early learning center closed its doors at the end of November, the community has been working to solve its ongoing childcare crisis. But finding a solution won’t happen overnight.
The daycare served 36 children, ranging in age from 6 weeks through 5 years old, and was a lifeline for many families.
“It put a bunch of people out of work; it made people scramble,” said the mom of three, Kyla Crawford.
Crawford is one of the lucky ones. Her oldest is now at the age to babysit until she gets home from work.
But after Eagle's Nest abruptly shut down due to financial issues, Crawford said many of the families are still without reliable childcare.
“To not have a facility that can handle a number of kids is really hard,” explained Crawford.
While county commissioners tried to save the daycare with funding, it wasn't enough.
Commissioner Susan Berumen said the hope now is to find another nonprofit to take over the old county-owned Eagle's Nest building.
“It’s always been difficult to have childcare here, just because of our location. We're commuting distance between Boulder and Denver, Golden, and Lakewood, so it's very important for our parents that we have trusted childcare,” said Berumen.
In the meantime, the county is working to establish a childcare steering committee and identify the needs of families through a survey.
It asks parents about the number of children they have, their ages, what days and times they require childcare, and if they've experienced any impacts as a result of the closure.
The committee will present their findings to the county by late January leaving parents in limbo until then.
“To be able to have [Eagle’s Nest] back open would be great,” said Crawford.
If you're interested in serving on the childcare steering committee, send an email to Lyndsey Denton at Ldenton@gilpincounty.org.
To fill out the county's survey about your family's childcare needs, click HERE.