First Impressions Council: Support free full-day kindergarten |

First Impressions Council: Support free full-day kindergarten

As Routt County’s Early Childhood Council, First Impressions works to ensure all families have adequate resources to promote healthy development and school readiness for children birth to age 5.

With 90 percent of brain development occurring before age 5, the time to invest in children for the biggest return is in the first five years of life. According to the 2016 Colorado Children’s Campaign’s Kids Count report, the 2015 self-sufficiency standard for two parents, an infant and a preschooler is 378 percent of the federal poverty level. The self-sufficiency standard calculates how much income a family needs to cover their basic costs such as food, housing and child care.

With the high cost of living in Routt County, families have to make almost four times the federal poverty level to live, work and shop locally.

With the Steamboat Springs School District proposing to charge $750 for the nine-month school year for families to access full-day kindergarten, this can be a hardship. It is estimated that 40 percent of all families in Routt County are living below the self-sufficiency standard (Routt County Data Partners), which means that the smallest unexpected expense can put a family over their budget.

It takes a village to raise a child, and having access to full-day kindergarten gives all children a chance to start school ready for lifelong success.

To show your support for free, full-day kindergarten for all of the Steamboat Springs School District’s youngest learners, call Education Fund Board President Sam Jones at 720-979-8695 or email and call the Steamboat Springs School District district office at 970-871-3199 or email

The First Impressions Council

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