Daycare Revisited: Quality Affordable Childcare for Students, On Campus and Off

By Ashlyn Schortzman, student contributor

Pikes Peak Community College has many students who also double as parents, and finding quality childcare can be challenging for mothers and fathers who have irregular schedules.

Students can take heart: there are plenty of affordable childcare services around Colorado Springs, beginning with our own Child Development Centers at Rampart Range Campus and Centennial Campus.

The CDC is located across the street from the T-building at Rampart and located on the far West side of the campus at Centennial. Both centers accepts children from six weeks to five-years-old but do not accept children who are in Kindergarten.

Both campus facilities offer both half and full days for preschool and full days for infants and toddlers. Half days start at 7:15 a.m. and end at 12:00 p.m. or start at 12:00 p.m. and end at 5:30 p.m.

Full days go from 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Tuition is based on sliding scale rates related to a student’s FASFA. The registration fee is $40 per child each semester. For more information about fees and tuition visit ppcc.edu/child-care.

Staff members and student staff members teach an Emergent Curriculum and help potty train the children. There is a variety of books children can read in the center’s library. Breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack are provided and prepared on-site. The children are taught how to serve themselves appropriate portions and learn to eat “family-style”. Formula is also provided for infants.

Parents can benefit from this center as well. There are two observation rooms where parents can see their child through a double-sided window and listen to the activities in the room through headphones. A study room with tables and various books can be found in the center of the L-shaped facility for the students who have children in the center.

Off Campus Daycare Near Campus

The Early Connections Learning Center (various locations), has a downtown location at I-25 and Cimarron Street, close to the Downtown Campus. Early Connections accepts children from ages two-and-a-half to thirteen-years-old, or six weeks to thirteen-years-old, depending on location.

The facility is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. year-round. The registration fee is $40 per child or $65 per family, and tuition varies based on the child’s attendance, age, and family income.

The children are taught through a research and evidence-based curriculum. The lesson plans for younger children are organized in kits based off children’s books so that the children have a better understanding of what is being taught.

The belief of the Early Connections Learning Center is that children learn best through play, so caregivers will let children decide what they would like to do and then make a lesson out of it.

There are many PPCC students on staff at Early Connections. They serve breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack which is prepared on-site.

Parents are encouraged to look on the bulletin boards outside of each classroom to see what their child has been doing while at daycare. The bulletin includes the daily schedule and lesson plans. Parents are also invited to parent/teacher conferences, family nights, and parent advisory committee meetings.

Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool, located off I-25 and Lake Avenue, accepts children from six weeks to preschool. The facility is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offers both part-time and full-time services for each age group. The tuition is based off age group and attendance.

This facility earned its name because it looks like a playhouse and has a playhouse for the children outside.

The playhouse theme encourages children to use their imaginations. The staff helps potty train children and provides an organic breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack.

Their curriculum, Creatively Shine, has a new theme each month and teaches all the necessary skills needed to be successful in the next stages of life. The children also play outside twice a day.

What makes this daycare stand out is the connection it has to the parents as well as the technology it uses. The doors have keypads to enter and exit buttons, located above an adult’s head, to open the doors to leave. This prevents children from sneaking off anywhere.

Parents can download an app to hear and watch their children through the cameras the facility has in each room at any time. There is an iPad in each room that parents can use to communicate with staff members. The app also allows parents to view the daily schedule, menu, reports, and photos of their child.

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