Letter: Still no progress on child care

Over two years ago, I wrote a letter to the editor titled “The child care situation” advocating for our civic leaders to find solutions to this ongoing child care availability crisis that is — allegedly — a priority for them.

Since this time, our city and county have made no progress. In fact, the situation has worsened as in-home child care locations have closed, and our leaders have spent huge amounts of public money on a new human services building and a new $34 million city hall and fire station. These are both in prime, central locations, and are ground-up designs. Yet, somehow, they both lack a child care facility, even though the city could have prioritized including child care in the building plans. They also lack housing for staff, even though that is another alleged top priority.

I recently had a frustrating conversation with City Council and city officials about this. “Everything is expensive,” “It’s all a balancing act,” “There are a lot of priorities,” “We don’t have the land,” and “Construction is astronomical.” It seems that child care and housing were discussed for inclusion in the buildings, but cut from the plans as they were “too expensive” to include. Child care and housing should be considered an investment in a community, not a cost to cut.

True priorities are shown by actions, not words. Our leaders are showing us that they do not prioritize addressing the child care crisis in this community.

Ryan Coe
Steamboat Springs

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