The Park City Community Foundation is partnering with Holy Cross Ministries and PC Tots to expand affordable, quality childcare in the Park City area. Their goal is to raise $1 million over the next two years.
Their two-year plan is to gather early child development experts to help define the community’s childcare needs. They’ll also be hiring a person with expertise to help define the strategic goals for building a broader non-profit early child program.
Park City Community Foundation Executive Director, Katie Wright says low income children in Park City are half as likely to be prepared for kindergarten and for starting their primary school education.
“And, that disparity persists through a child’s lifetime. It’s really, really, hard to overcome. The data is clear that if you invest in children early, they thrive, their families thrive and so does the community.”
Wright says brain science data is conclusive and a good early start makes for success throughout a child’s lifetime. She believes the entire community benefits from all children having access to early childhood programs.
“Data also shows that when communities make that investment, there’s a return on it. Anywhere between a dollar invested returns $4 to $12 dollars. This is something that we can accomplish. Every child gets a good start to life no matter what your family’s income is. But it starts with expanding the programs that exist now, that are very good.”
Wright says they hope to raise another $750,000 over the next two years with all the funds going toward expansion of a variety of childcare programs.
“The child center-based care is the right fit for some families but not all. The Holy Cross Ministries has a home visiting program called Parents as Teachers. Its evidence based and has really great results. And that program has a waiting list and we’d really like to expand that. And, there are other types of programs that exist in other communities that have proven to be really effective.”
PC Tots Director, Carol Loomis says they’re planning to hire a full time Executive Director hoping to add a new center in the Basin area near Canyons Resort. Currently, they serve 114 children in two centers, both located in the Prospector area.
“And we have a waiting list right now of 84 and about 35 percent of our children get deep, deep subsidies. And, we would like to move that to 50 percent.”
PC Tots received $30,000 from the Women’s Giving Fund along with $250,000 for the second center, from the Katz Family Foundation. Loomis says it costs about $250,000 a year to subsidize the families who come to the childcare center.
“All of the families that come to PC tots are paying less than market rate because we are a non-profit. Some are subsidized, not as deeply because maybe they get a $200 subsidy. But our tuition runs 300 to $400 less month than the market rate because we are a non-profit.”
The Park City Community Foundation is holding a fundraiser on August 21st at the Kimball Terrace. You can find the link to the event on KPCW.org or at parkcitycf.org.