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PO Box 858 Firestone, CO 80520

Hours: 9 - 5 M-F

by Genevieve Mellott

There is an old saying that the only constants in life are death and taxes‭. ‬But if you have children‭, ‬you know that at some point‭, ‬even if temporarily‭, ‬you need someone else to watch or educate your little ones‭. ‬It would seem childcare is life’s third constant‭. ‬

Carbon Valley is blessed with many amenities‭: ‬good neighbors‭, ‬good schools‭, ‬modern conveniences‭, ‬lovely parks‭, ‬and more‭. ‬However‭, ‬an abundance of childcare is not one of the amenities‭. ‬But the situation is improving‭! ‬One of Firestone’s longtime‭, ‬in-home childcare providers‭, ‬Vicki Athmann‭, ‬recognized the need for a daycare center as our population has grown‭. ‬This summer‭, ‬the newly constructed Busy Bee Preschool and Early Learning Center will be open 6:30‭ ‬AM to 6:00‭ ‬PM to meet the needs‭ ‬of dozens of local families by providing care for children aged six weeks to six years‭.‬

Vicki is no stranger to the childcare scene in Carbon Valley‭. ‬She has a bachelor’s degree in child psychology and has owned and operated Busy Bee Preschool for 18‭ ‬years‭. ‬She is the Carbon Valley Child Care Association president and was a mentor for new childcare providers in Weld County‭. ‬Who better‭, ‬then‭, ‬to serve the area with a brand‭-‬new childcare center‭?‬

It was a well-thought-out decision‭. ‬Vicki says‭, ‬“During the past 18‭ ‬years of providing childcare in the Carbon Valley area‭, ‬I have seen the trends of the community change‭. ‬There‭ ‬is an overwhelming need for childcare in the area‭, ‬especially infant and part-time care‭. ‬There are some great in-home childcare‭ ‬providers in the area‭. ‬But in-home providers are limited on how many children they can accept‭. ‬Firestone does not have a childcare center‮…‬‭ ‬only in-home providers‭. ‬The need is just too great for the in-home providers to absorb‭. ‬Firestone has grown so much‭ ‬over the past 15‭ ‬years‭, ‬and we are in desperate need of a childcare center‭. ‬The opportunity presented itself with an ideal location‭, ‬and I am blessed to be able to move forward and expand my program‭.‬”

Located at 10916‭ ‬Cimarron Street‭, ‬the former site of the Healthy Roots Farms greenhouse‭, ‬the preschool will be easily accessible‭ ‬and close to Firestone Boulevard‭. ‬The facility itself will be owned by Carbon Valley Lutheran Church‭, ‬who is leasing space to Busy Bee‭. ‬Construction has not been without its challenges‭, ‬however‭. ‬Because of everyone’s favorite year‭, ‬2020‭, ‬permits took longer than expected‭, ‬and the whole process has drawn out more than in a typical year‭. ‬Vicki‭ ‬looks on the bright side by admitting‭, ‬“I am okay with a little delay so that we can open and operate as normal‭. ‬Keeping everyone healthy and safe is a priority‭.‬”

And there are more bright things on the way‭. ‬Neighbors have been very supportive of the effort‭. ‬According to Vicki‭, ‬“The support from the community has been amazing‭! ‬I think everyone is pretty excited about a childcare facility coming to the area‭. ‬I have been blessed over the years with some amazing families‭, ‬and I am excited to be able to offer care in the community for‭ ‬years to come‭.‬”

While it will be summer when the facility opens‭, ‬families can pre-register on the website now‭. ‬The center will begin enrolling families in March from those that have pre-registered‭. ‬There will be several open houses when people are able to get into the building‭. ‬Also‭, ‬Vicki will be looking for some amazing teachers to join the team starting in April‭. ‬If you or someone you know will‭ ‬need this valuable service‭, ‬reach out to Vicki at‭ ‬‭ ‬or Busy Bee Preschool on Facebook‭, ‬or visit the new website‭, ‬‭, ‬which Vicki will update as the facility progresses‭. ‬