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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Busy Bee Preschool on Facebook, or visit the new website, thebusybeepreschool.org, which Vicki will update as the facility progresses.