Steamboat Springs Through a federal loan, Young Tracks and Young at Heart preschools will combine facilities and begin construction of a new building that will be able to accommodate more children and improve the quality of day care.
Both day-care centers will be owned by Young Tracks.
The new building will "make our lives significantly easier and from the standpoint of the quality it's a much better environment for children to be in," said Winnie DelliQuadri, president of the board of directors at Young Tracks.
The loan of $935,000 was granted to Young Tracks from the Department of Agriculture. The new facility will be capable of caring for up to 100 children, including up to 20 infants.
"With the increasing need for reliable day care in rural areas, this loan couldn't come at a better time," said Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Colo. "This rural development grant will provide the instrumental funding that will help this new day-care center become a reality."
The 40-year loan that was granted to Young Tracks at the rate of 4.75 percent gave the facility a financial boost to put their plan in effect.
"It's exciting. It's a dream come true," said Lou Dolman, a member of the board of directors at Young Tracks.
DelliQuadri said having the new center built with its primary purpose of being a day care will provide a better environment for young children to play.
The costs of operating two separate buildings has been financially challenging for the day-care centers, DelliQuadri said.
DelliQuadri said the overhead of two operations costs more than having one facility.
"Right now in order to provide, we are skimping on other things," she said. She said with additional money from a reduction in costs, teachers will be paid better, offered benefits and will not be required to do additional tasks such as cleaning.
"We want to make the job a career for people who wish to have it so," Dolman said. She said many centers are gradually acquiring new pay schedules that pay preschool teachers better, as well as offer them benefits.
The new school will have rooms designed for specific ages of children. She said the new building will make it easier to meet the rules and regulations required for a child-care center. The two older buildings meeting all the regulations was a challenge, she said. The teachers at both Young at Heart and Young Tracks helped design the building to best suit their needs.
The construction on the new building will begin Friday with a groundbreaking ceremony at 5:30 p.m. at 1647 Mid-Valley Drive.
Those who supported the construction of the new building through grants and loans will begin construction of the facility by digging an area for the foundation. Older children who attend the school and community members are invited to attend.
Dolman said the new facility is set to open Nov. 1, and she thinks with all plans in place there should be no delay.