Letter from the Director

Hi Friends and Supporters of Early Childhood Education,

I am writing to ask for your continued support for childcare services in Estes Park. As you are aware, EVICS is working closely with the EDC Childcare Services Committee on the Community Childcare Needs Assessment. The results from that study are due at the end of January.   At the same time, we recognized a potential opportunity for childcare space in the soon-to-be vacated existing Senior Center on 4th Street.   We made the recommendation to the Town that they consider leasing the facility to a qualified childcare operator since we know from anecdotal data that there is an immediate need for infant/toddler care.  The Town then asked us to prepare a proposal, to be considered along with 2 additional community proposals for use of the Senior Center. The 3 proposed uses the Town Board will be considering are:  1) Leasing to Senior Center Inc, for a gathering place; 2) Museum artifacts storage, and 3) our proposed use for a Licensed Childcare Program, with emphasis on infant/toddler age group.

Each proposed use will be given the opportunity to present their case to the Town Board on January 23.  EVICS is currently recruiting “letters of interest” from viable, licensed childcare operators, which we will review.  If we are satisfied with one or more viable options we will follow through with our proposal.  In the event we do not receive what we believe is a viable option, we will withdraw our proposal.  Either way, the issue of childcare has been included in the Town Board’s 2018 Strategic Plan, and we are urging community members to share your voice and communicate to Town Board members how important it is that they follow through on addressing this issue.

Our community has struggled with a shortage of available childcare options for years.  There are no licensed early childhood centers for children under the age of 2.5.  There are 12 slots for children under 2.5 with licensed home providers, with only 8 of those slots open to children under the age of one year.  The limited number of legally licensed slots available are full and have waiting lists. Too few children have access to reliable, safe, quality care that not only impacts their development, but helps families be able to live and work in our community.

 

Here are two ways you can help:

  1. Attend Town Board meetings. They happen at 7:00 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. There will not be a Town Board Meeting on Dec 26th, so the next 2 opportunities are  Jan 9th and 23rd. We hope to have parents, employers, and others show up to Town Board meetings to simply demonstrate the need for a community investment in the childcare issue, and the impact of “doing nothing.”  If you feel inclined, we encourage you to speak during the public comment section, which happens in the first 15 minutes of the Town Board Meeting and does not require prior sign-up.  Speaking from your personal experience as a parent, employer, or concerned citizen is helpful and demonstrates the reality of the issue.
  2. Letters to the Editor are also impactful. Writing from the heart and sharing a personal story is powerful. If you choose to write a letter you can submit it as a Letter to the Editor to kris@estesparknews.com by noon on Tuesdays, and it will run in that Fridays’ paper. You can submit letters to the editor to the Trail Gazette by going to www.eptrail.com/submit.

If you have questions, or would like more information, please reach out to me, or call EVICS at 586-3055. Thank you for your interest and support,

 

Nancy Almond, EVICS Program Director

 

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Community Encouraged to Support EVICS on Colorado Gives Day

Estes Valley Investment in Childhood Success invites community members to support children, families, and early childhood programs in Estes Park by donating to EVICS on Colorado Gives Day, December 5, 2017. Presented by Community First Foundation and FirstBank, Colorado Gives Day is an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy through online giving. By making fundraising simple for nonprofits and giving easy for donors, Colorado Gives Day is one the most successful events of its kind in the nation.

“This is our first year to participate in CO Gives and we are excited to give our community the opportunity to give where you live! The donations we receive on Colorado Gives Day will help us to continue to support and promote quality early childhood services, and provide parent education, so that all young children in the Estes Valley have the care, support and opportunities necessary to grow, learn, and succeed.” says Nancy Almond, EVICS Director. “Your gift, no matter the size, will be applied to the statewide $1 Million Incentive Fund, which will increase the value of every dollar donated, and result in additional funds for EVICS.”
We all prosper when our children prosper. A donation to EVICS helps provide the following critical services:

 

• Childcare and preschool scholarships to lower income families, so parents can work and children are safe.
• Support to parents, so they learn skills and strategies for being their child’s best teacher.
• Training and support to early childhood care providers and teachers, so children have quality care and are ready for school.

To give, go to: ColoradoGives.org, search for the EVICS profile on the site and make your safe and secure donation in a few easy steps. While you’re there you can find your other favorite Estes Park non-profits and easily donate with the click of a button. Visit ColoradoGives.org on December 5th and make a difference for our community.

 

Colorado Gives Day!

Because the first five years of a child’s life are the foundation to a successful adulthood, EVICS provides a number of services to the Estes Valley community that supports early childhood. EVICS builds this foundation through parent education programs, support and resources for chlidcare and preschool providers, and childcare scholarships for qualifying families, and much more! Accessible childcare is crucial for working families and provides a solid early learning foundation for young children. EVICS works to support and promote quality early childhood services so that all children in Estes Valley have the care, support, and opportunities necessary to grow, learn, and succeed.

For more information and to view our CO Gives Day profile, go here.

2nd Annual Art Gala Fundraising Event

Celebrate Living in Estes Park with EVICS Tonight at their 2nd Annual Art Gala, “Where the Wild Things Are”

By Nancy Almond, EVICS Director

Like many of you, I know how lucky I am to get to call this Rocky Mountain paradise home!  The incredible scenery that greets us every day, the majestic wildlife, the small town comforts, and quaint downtown character are hard to beat!  How many times do others tell me: “You are so lucky to get to live in Estes Park!”  But also, if you’re like me, you sometimes overlook the reality of the struggles young families face in order to be able to live here.

Kids Count 2017, an annual report published by the Colorado Children’s Campaign, documents that Estes Park contains nearly the highest percentage of childhood poverty in Larimer County. Our community stands out on the county map, with approximately 1 in 3 of Estes Park’s young children are living at or below the poverty line.  In alignment with that statistic, Estes Park Elementary reports that 47.5% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch.  For a relatively wealthy community, a lot of us are shocked to hear these numbers.

Many of the parents in this segment of our population work in the service industry, supporting our restaurants, lodges, tourist attractions, manual labor, and retail stores.  These families struggle to find housing, afford childcare, and pay their bills.  For some families, EVICS services are critical. Our childcare scholarship program helps families access consistent and reliable childcare, so parents can work, knowing their children are being cared for in a safe and loving environment. Our Parents as Teachers program reaches out to families of all young children, regardless of income, supporting parents in their most important job.  Our school readiness services ensure that all children are receiving the support and stability they need in the critical early years of life, in order to be ready to learn and successful in school.  No family can do it alone, and EVICS is grateful for a supportive community that helps us provide these critical early childhood services.

We invite you to be a part of our 10 year celebration by attending the EVICS Art Gala Fundraiser TONIGHT, Friday, Nov 3 from 5 – 8PM at the Trout Haven Event Center, 800 Moraine Ave. Come to our annual fundraising event Friday evening, featuring local children’s art work, over 20 unique art pieces in a silent auction, and irresistible childhood favorite foods, slightly revised for the adult palate!  Every dollar donated up to $10K will be matched by generous community donors John and Peggy Lynch, Fred and Mary Frankel, Donna and Paul Newendorp, Susan and Mark Newendorp, and other anonymous donors.  That’s not all, as a special token of appreciation, the first 50 individual donors of $100 or more will receive a handcrafted holiday ornament made especially for this event by master woodworker, John Lynch.  We hope to see you at this spectacular fundraising event!

EVICS is a qualified 501c3 non-profit organization. All donations are 100% tax deductible and eligible for the Colorado Child Care Tax Credit.  For more information please contact EVICS at:  office@evics.org or call 970.586.3055.  If you are not able to attend but want to participate in the matching gift opportunity, please mail your donation to:  EVICS,  PO Box 3373, Estes Park CO 80517, or give onli

Childcare Provider Informational Meeting & Orientation

Interested in providing care for a few children in your home? 

State childcare licensing regulations recently changed making it easier to offer childcare in your home without a license.  If you are interested in working from home, while helping address the shortage of childcare in our community, especially for infants and toddlers, becoming a “legally exempt provider” might be just the right thing for you.  Exempt providers can care for no more than 4 children (including your own), and still have access to some of the support and benefits of being a licensed provider.

To learn more, give us a call and sign up to attend our New Childcare Provider Orientation and Informational Session on November 1, 6-7pm at the EVICS office.  Contact Carlie Bangs for more information at cbangs@evics.org.

 

Art Gala Fundraising

EVICS Art Gala Fundraising Efforts

Put on your “mountain formal” attire and come enjoy friends and wild, whimsical, unique pieces of art for your home or workplace, created by local children and area artists.  An adult event, to support young children in Estes Park, guests will enjoy enhanced food favorites reminiscent of childhood, photos in the Wild Things photo booth to commemorate the evening, and adult beverages from Rock Cut and Lumpy Ridge breweries and Snowy Peaks Winery.

The 2nd Annual Art Gala supports the work of Estes Valley Investment in Childhood Success (EVICS).  John Lynch, local woodcrafter and artist is rewarding event donors with a one of a kind gift.  The first 50 guests of the evening, who purchase or donate $100 or more, will receive a beautifully handcrafted bird house ornament as a thank you.

There will also be a matching gift challenge!  Several generous community members have combined resources to create a $10,000 matching challenge.  This means the first $10,000 donated will be matched, dollar for dollar, potentially resulting in a $20,000 donation to EVICS.  All donations to EVICS stay in our community and provide direct support to families, young children, and critical early childhood services. EVICS provides childcare and preschool scholarships to families in need, resources and training to early childhood programs, and vital parent education through the accredited Parents as Teachers Program.  Without support from EVICS many young families are not able to live, work, and raise young children in Estes Park.  This year, thanks to community support, EVICS celebrates providing over $200,000 in childcare scholarships since the program began in 2006. 

The EVICS Art Gala will be held Friday, November 3, 5- 8 PM at Trout Haven Event Center, 810 Moraine Avenue!  For more information, or to donate art, please contact EVICS at 970-586-3055 (www.evics.org), or email: cbangs@evics.org.

EVICS is a certified 501c3 non-profit organization. All donations are 100% tax deductible and qualify for the Colorado Child Care Tax Credit.  There are lots of reasons to attend this event!  For more information please contact EVICS at:  office@evics.org or call 970.586.3055.  If you are not able to attend but want to participate in the matching gift opportunity, please mail your donation to:  EVICS,  PO Box 3373, Estes Park CO 80517, or give online at www.evics.org

New Look!

Have you noticed our new look?

Estes Valley Investment in Childhood Success, EVICS, has been supporting the Estes Valley for 11 years.  Throughout that time EVICS has generously provided over $200,000 in childcare and preschool scholarships to more than 370 children.  Many families in the Estes Valley community rely on short term childcare financial assistance to stay in the valley.  EVICS is an affiliate with the home visit program, Parents as Teachers and have served 44 families and 67 children since the program began in 2011. Director, Nancy Almond, has been with the organization for 10 years and has seen huge growth in our community.  “We are so grateful for the support from our community over the years.  Families struggle to make it in Estes Park, and when we are able to take a little bit of the stress off, by making childcare accessible, or supporting a working parent through a tough time, it benefits our whole community,” explains Nancy.    EVICS staff also includes:  Kristen Berg, Parent Education Coordinator; Carlie Bangs, Program Assistant and Parent Educator; and Adriana Hochstetler, Bilingual Parent Educator.

As EVICS continues to advocate and provide support for young families, the organization strives to meet changing needs in the community.   You may notice a new newsletter, website, marketing strategies, and a new logo!  In keeping with the original logo, you’ll see the mountain scene and children.  Through the support of local community and adult leadership, children in our community can reach for the stars as their potential is endless! A huge thank you to Stacey Jacobs, with Project One8, who worked with EVICS to create an inspiring and fresh look.

 

EVICS exists to support and promote quality early childhood services and provide parents support, so that all young children in the Estes Valley have the care, support, and opportunities necessary to learn, grow, and succeed.