Community Connections: Family Development Center |

Community Connections: Family Development Center

Colleen Miller
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Community Connection

The Family Development Center supports families in the earliest years of their child’s life. This year has been a trying time for everyone, including families and young children. We are available to support and assist your parenting needs and connect you with services throughout Routt County.

All of our programs have continued virtually for Newborn Network and Child Care Network. Discovery Learning Center preschool was able to successfully reopen June 1. We have had to adjust how we do things but by taking our cue from the children we teach, as stated from a 4-year-old, “I can wear this mask because I can follow directions.”

We make these adjustments so that life can go on and parents can receive the support they need. We are available to teach and love the kids and be available for the parents and families in our community.

Have you heard of the Newborn Network? We offer free services to support families in the first years of their child’s life. A few of our programs are listed below.

Play and learn is a parent or caregiver and child activity program for families with children birth to 3-years-old who live in Routt County meets twice weekly and promotes parent-child interactions and development-centered parenting. The program is offered virtually via zoom from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursdays. Planned activities are based on the age and developmental stages of the participating children.

These sessions are not limited to parents and their children. Anyone that has children from birth to 3-years-old in their care is invited. Besides parents, this may include grandparents, aunts, foster families or family, friend and neighbor caregivers. Play and learn is offered free to families.

Newborn Network Parents As Teachers is a monthly home visitation program offered virtually by Zoom that is available to all families in Routt County who are pregnant and/or have a child younger than 36 months old. Our parent educators provide information about development-centered parenting, parent-child interaction and family well-being.

Newborn Network Baby Group Connections, designed for families with newborns to about age 1, meets virtually via Zoom at 11 a.m. Wednesdays.

Toddler Group Connections is designed for families with children 12 to 36 months and is held virtually via Zoom at 1:30 p.m. most Wednesdays. Join us for parenting and child development information and parent-to-parent networking with topics posted in the Happenings and at

Child Care Network is available for assisting anyone looking for child care or has questions about starting a child care program. This could be an employer helping an employee, a new parent or someone relocating to Routt County. Contact us for more information.

We hope to have children experience joy, laughter and a sense of wonder and adventure every day. One of the best ways to ensure this happens is to provide parent education opportunities. Funding support is provided by Buell Foundation, Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation and Family Development Center funders, including Routt County, United Way, Yampa Valley Community Foundation, city of Steamboat Springs and Routt County through HRC funding and individual donors.

Due to the safety restrictions in place for COVID-19, we are unable to hold our annual Casino Night Fundraiser and silent auction. This event is beloved by many, and we are looking forward to bringing it back next year. We will have an online silent auction to raise funds for scholarships and professional development in March. To learn more about any of our programs or to find out more information about our Silent Auction Fundraiser, visit

Colleen Miller has served as executive director of the Family Development Center and the three integrated programs, Discovery Learning Center, Child Care Network and Newborn Network since June 2020 and has worked as the administrative director since 2006. Miller has her undergraduate degree in labor and industrial relations, human resource management.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Loading comments...