Colorado Gives Day starts in
Donate

Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center

Our 300+ waitlist is the largest ever! To respond to Larimer County's critical need for more affordable, quality child care, Teaching Tree is expanding to accommodate 114 MORE children. We are 76% of the way to meeting our $2.1-million capital campaign goal. Please help us reach our goal.

More Information

Fundraising Pages

Want to do more for your favorite charity? We’ve made it easy for you to raise money by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a fundraiser Current fundraisers for this charity (0)

Child Care Center Expansion

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children (4-12 years)
Families
Infants/Young Children (birth - 3 years)
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent
Single Parents

Description

More than 6,000 children in Larimer County are on child care waitlists. Teaching Tree now has an opportunity to expand the capacity of our Fort Collins center from 101 children to 215 children, by reconfiguring existing classrooms and adding 6 new classrooms in the other half of our building. When the project is completed in early 2020, Teaching Tree Fort Collins will be licensed to serve 215 children and will have the capacity to serve 20 infants; 20 one-year-olds; 28 two-year-olds; 40 three-year-olds; 48 four-year-olds; and 59 five-year-olds, including low-income children enrolled in the Colorado Preschool Program. The expansion will include adding 2 natural playgrounds to our outdoor learning environment.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The project has broad community support from partners including the City of Fort Collins, United Way, Early Childhood Council, Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce Talent 2.0 Task Force, Larimer Small Business Development Center, Saunders Heath, Bohemian Foundation, and Nordson Corporation Foundaiton. Construction began in June 2019. Thanks to our generous donors and our board's approval to allocate $500,000 from operating reserves toward the project, we are 76% of the way to meeting our $2.1-million capital campaign goal.

Tuition Assistance for Early Childhood Care and Education

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- Other Specified Group
Families
Infants/Babies (under age 5)
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Single Parents

Description

Teaching Tree offers sliding fee assistance that makes the cost of child care as low as $24 a day for low-income families who are working or are in school or a job training program, as compared to childcare rates at for-profit centers in Larimer County, which range from $60-$75/day. Families The who are on the Child Care Assistance Program waitlist pay just $18/day.

To further support and strengthen families, Teaching Tree also provides comprehensive services, such as nurse consultations, vision and dental screens, mental health supports, and individual speech therapy for young children.


Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

"With Teaching Tree's tuition assistance program, I'm able to be gainfully employed; self-sufficiency is within grasp; and I'm able to contribute to society." Amy K.

In 2018, Teaching Tree provided $81,144 in tuition assistance to 75 low-income families who were working toward self-sufficiency, enabling families to enroll their children in our school-readiness program. Because they had stable child care, families were able to work or go to school and have peace of mind knowing that their children were in a safe environment, engaged in quality early learning experiences. We also provided significantly reduced childcare rates for 13 employee children, subsidizing $32,143 of the cost of this care.




School Readiness Program

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Children birth to age 3
Female Infants/Babies (under age 5)
Infants/Babies (under age 5)
Male Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Description

Teaching Tree provides a developmentally appropriate early care and learning program to nearly 300 families each year. Centers offer year-round, full- and half-day care, from 6:30 am to 6 pm, for children from 6 weeks through 5 years old (and up to age 12 in the summer).

Our childcare specialists have combined experience of more than 200 years providing quality early learning experiences in a rich, supportive environment. We maintain low staff-to-child ratios to ensure that children have greater individualized attention and higher-quality interactions with teachers. We partner with families and provide numerous supports to strengthen and stabilize families and ensure that each child can become the best that she can be. Our four main programs reflect best practices and are evidence-based:

• Pyramid Model for Promoting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children, an early intervention framework that allows teachers to focus on communication, separating the child from the behavior, and building strong relationships with children and families.
• The Touchpoints Model, which strengthens teachers' skills in working with families.
• Teaching Strategies GOLD, an evidence-based, online, planning, observation, and assessment tool that allows teachers to regularly observe and document children demonstrating developmental milestones.
• The GOLD-supported Creative Curriculum, which helps teachers teach intentionally to the needs of each respective child. Used together, Teaching Strategies GOLD and The Creative Curriculum have high learning outcomes for the areas of development and learning. Poudre- and Thompson school districts also use these tools, which contributes to consistency from preschool to school, and parents are familiar with the tools as well.

Teachers respond to children's needs by working with parents to develop plans that will help their children form develop social-emotional competence. Using the Pyramid Model, teachers and parents discover they no longer need to be referees, because the children learn to work things out on their own.

Throughout each day, children are exposed to a wide variety of hands-on activities such as sensory, music, exercise, literacy, and dramatic play. They also receive meals and snacks that meet 100% of their daily nutritional requirements.


Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2019, Teaching Tree received Level 5 and Level 4 Colorado Shines ratings at its Loveland and Fort Collins centers, respectively. These are the highest ratings possible in our state's new quality rating improvement system.

Teaching Strategies GOLD growth reports were conducted in the fall, winter and spring of the 2018-19 school year. By the spring report period, all children were meeting or exceeding widely held expectations in each of the six developmental areas observed.

Implementing the Pyramid Model has led to higher quality in early care and learning and the creation of a more rewarding environment for staff in which children can thrive. Ongoing coaching, monthly trainings and biweekly leadership team meetings help teachers and staff regularly assess their progress against established standards.

"My children have been in a couple of different childcare programs. This program has been my favorite. Everyone is caring and open to discussion, and they take my parenting ideas seriously." - Parent providing feedback about Teaching Tree to a program evaluator

Exercise and Wellness Program

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children birth to age 3
Female Infants/Babies (under age 5)
Infants/Babies (under age 5)
Male Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Description

For the last 14 years, Teaching Tree has secured grants to provide free exercise and wellness programs, including yoga, to children ages 2-5.

Each spring, Teaching Tree's "Pre-K" Walk-a-Thon allows our kiddos to raise pledges for their participation in this fun community-wide walk. Event sponsors contribute money, prizes, refreshment for aid stations and volunteers to help with the event.

Funds raised from the walk-a-thon go directly to supporting exercise and wellness programs delivered on-site by certified children's yoga and Mighty Kicks instructors, and off-site at Northside Aztlan Community Center. These programs are designed to get kids moving regularly and to make exercise fun, so they will develop a lifelong exercise habit.

It is only through fundraising activities, private donations, and grants that Teaching Tree is able to provide this enrichment program at no extra charge to families.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

"After yoga class, the 3-year-olds are relaxed, calm, and ready to begin their day." -- Miss Margaret, childcare specialist in Teaching Tree's Busy Bees classroom

Besides being fun, yoga helps children develop strength and flexibility; improves balance, body awareness, and coordination; calms and clears the mind, opening it for learning; and promotes an overall sense of well-being.

Children look forward to the classes as a break from their regular childcare routines and an outlet for their creativity and energy. They love the interactive nature of the exercise program.

Based on teacher feedback and observations, the program stimulates young children's development and gets them excited about exercise. We also see the children initiate exercises among themselves.

The program gives teachers ideas for integrating exercise concepts into lesson plans. On inclement days, for example, when children can't go outside, preschool teachers will use activities they've learned from exercise instructors to lead an exercise routine in the classroom.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.