Child care group celebrates one year |

Child care group celebrates one year

Michelle Balleck

Moffat County Child Care Providers Association President Paula Reed is pleased with the success the organization has had in its first year.

“We are so excited and so pumped up about actually having the program off the ground,” she said.

She started the program last June, and the local group became associated with the Colorado program in July 2004. Members organized an open house event Thursday evening as a way to celebrate and attract new providers.

“We’ve been trying to get an association going for a long time,” Reed said. “Child care providers needed a place to go to talk to other child care providers.

“Sometimes, you need to talk about issues with kids. We needed a place to be social, too.”

She said the members provide a support system for one another. The association was founded with four members, but it now has 15.

MCCCPA meets monthly for regular business and special programs presented by other organizations in the community. Licensed providers need 12 training hours annually, and Reed said association members had 18 this year.

“There are a lot of unlicensed providers we want to reach out to,” she said. “Our goal is to provide quality care to the children.”

Another goal of the group is to make sure all local providers are within the legal bounds of child care. Those with only one family of children need not be licensed. Those with more children must be licensed.

The association also helps providers access grant money and valuable information.

“For the providers, the benefits are awesome,” Reed said. “Everybody in the group benefits from every member.”

The group has been working with a Colorado network that connects parents with child-care providers who can best meet their needs in their areas. Reed hopes to start a local network soon that details the specifics of the child care providers’ situations so families can find appropriate fits.

Reed aims to attract new members and get all Moffat County providers legal. Meetings are open to everyone interested.

“Anyone is welcome to attend — any child care provider, licensed or unlicensed, and advocates of quality care,” she said.

MCCCPA meets at First Christian Church, 960 W. Victory Way, the third Thursday of every month, with special arrangements for holidays.

The business meeting runs from 6:30 to 7 p.m., with the community program following. The yearly membership fee is $25.

For more information, call Reed at 824-6756.

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