Happenings

Public Health Notification for Child Care Providers

Friday, June 29, 2018

  

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Reminder: Child Care Licensing Fee Changes Effective July 1

Friday, June 29, 2018

  

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School of Secrets: Day care delays reporting alleged sex assault

Friday, June 29, 2018
(Fox 31) - 

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Park Hill Golf Course operator will renew lease, adding complications for Clayton

Thursday, June 28, 2018

(Denver Post) -

Park Hill Golf Course operator will renew lease, adding new complication to nonprofit owner’s plans. Arcis Golf filed lawsuit in spring in bid to buy the course under its contract terms.

The operator of the Park Hill Golf Course gave notice this week that it will renew its lease for five years, adding a new complication to discussions about the 155-acre property’s future. Arcis Golf’s renewal notice comes on the heels of its pending lawsuit that aims to force a sale to the Dallas-based operator. The company is the second-largest owner of golf courses in the country.

Last fall, the George W. Clayton Trust, which owns the land in northeast Denver, briefly reached a $20.5 million deal in which the city would buy the course and continue a community discussion over potential future uses. Clayton Early Learning, an early-childhood education nonprofit that manages the trust, has been looking for ways to make more money for its programs than it was reaping from the $700,000-a-year operator lease with Arcis.

But the city’s deal was scuttled in November, when Arcis said it might exercise its option for the first of two five-year lease extensions. Its lease expires at the end of this year, and Arcis had until July 1 to notify Clayton of its decision.

“Arcis has informed us of their intent to renew the lease,” Clayton president and CEO Charlotte Brantley told The Denver Post on Wednesday morning.

Arcis’ lawsuit, filed in April, seeks to activate its contractual right of first refusal to match the city’s earlier purchase offer. But Clayton officials contend that the city’s offer didn’t trigger that provision because the City Council hadn’t yet signed off.

It’s unclear whether Arcis still intends to pursue a purchase of Park Hill. An attempt to reach Scott Siddons, the company’s general counsel, was not immediately successful.

While Arcis may hold legal leverage to continue operating the golf course, company officials also are aware that a city stormwater drainage and detention project — part of the massive Platte to Park Hill program — will require the closing of the golf course for up to two years, starting in 2019. Arcis probably will have a claim to compensation from the city during the closure.

Clayton officials are pushing ahead with a planned community open house July 10. They plan to share a summary of the input they have received during a two-year “visioning process” for the property, which has featured passionate arguments for preserving open space as well as addressing needs such as affordable housing.

But that conversation may now be speculative, at best.

“The golf course land continues to be an asset of the Clayton Trust, and its revenue helps support Clayton Early Learning’s mission to improve early care and education during the critical first five years, especially for children living in communities of limited opportunity,” says a statement issued by the nonprofit. “Arcis’ decision does not change our mission, and we will continue our work educating Denver’s children.”

Siddons said during an interview last month that after years of losing money on its lease, Arcis unsuccessfully asked to cut the annual rent back to $300,000. But he said that last year, for the first time, the operator made a slight profit at Park Hill.

Siddons said the city’s proposal to buy the property last summer took the operator by surprise. The deal could have meant as much as $24 million for Clayton, depending on the site’s development potential.

“We thought that they would be in breach of that lease if they didn’t offer on the same terms to purchase (as the city had offered),” Siddons said. “Our position is: Look, we went through all the bad times on the lease. We upheld our obligations. The fact that you went out and cut a deal with the city — and didn’t offer it to us — is a breach of the lease.”

 


 

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AmeriCorps ‘volunteers’ in Denver schools were district employees, investigation finds

Thursday, June 28, 2018

(Chalkbeat) - Denver Public Schools will have to pay back the federal agency that administers the grants.  

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Colorado Primary Results & What They Mean

Thursday, June 28, 2018

(Colorado Politics) - Colorado voters have set the stage for the fall election — and the Colorado Politics team was in the thick of the primary-election-night action. Here’s a roundup of our election night coverage.  

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Who should pay for preschool for the middle class?

Monday, June 25, 2018

(The Hechinger Report)-Universal preschool has a significant positive effect on reading scores of children from low-income homes, but programs targeted to poor children do not... 

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Early Learning Office Gets New Leader

Friday, June 22, 2018

(Politico Pro) - From Acting Director Ruth Ryder: Welcome Tammy Proctor, Acting Director of the Office of Early Learning!
 

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Weld County launches new website to help with child care shortage

Thursday, June 21, 2018

(The Tribune) -  

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An Old Foundation with a New Strategy Expands Its Early Childhood Work

Thursday, June 21, 2018

(Inside Philanthropy) -

You may not have heard of the family foundation behind a $12.75 million gift to launch an early childhood learning center in Orlando, Florida, but it’s worth taking note. Now entering its 50th year, the Bainum Foundation has recently emerged as a player to watch in the early childhood learning space.

As recently as 2015, the Bainum Foundation’s list of grantees read like a hodgepodge of random causes with likely little more in common than family members’ personal passions and interests. There were gifts to colleges and universities, boys and girls clubs and the local food kitchen.

The foundation reported about $500 million in assets. Its annual giving in 2015 added up to about $16 million, but few gifts topped $1 million.

A big focus was granting scholarships to low-income kids attending faith-based schools or providing direct support to the schools, said Ann Egan, the foundation’s communications director. The organization’s founders Jane and Stewart Bainum both attended Seventh Day Adventist schools and wanted to support others who wanted to do the same.

However, around 2015, the foundation started to shift its focus in a more strategic direction. Since then, it’s emerged as a generous backer of early childhood education, with much of its work focusing on the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.; the foundation is based in neighboring Bethesda, Maryland. The foundation also focuses on mental health in schools and food security.

In 2017 alone, the foundation spent nearly $9 million on increasing the number of high-quality childcare seats in D.C.’s low-income neighborhoods and bringing mental health services to public high schools.

Now, Bainum has pledged $12.75 million to create about 150 new childcare spots for infants and toddlers in Orlando, Florida. About $5 million will support construction and $7.5 million will fund general operations when the center opens in 2019. The funder will also assist on designs, operations, governance and evaluation.

The center is part of a broader revitalization project led by LIFT Orlando, which is working to encourage investment that supports mixed-income housing, cradle-to-career education, community health and wellness, and long-term economic viability.

At first glance, this grant is a little bit of an outlier when compared to Bainum’s revamped giving strategy. Up until this point, much of the funder’s early education work has focused locally in D.C. What prompted the foundation to make a big investment in Orlando?

The answer actually lies in its history of funding faith-based work, Egan said. Even though Bainum’s strategy has shifted, it’s maintained its Seventh-day Adventist Initiative. Previously, the initiative was in charge of doling out scholarships to low-income children attending faith-based schools. When the foundation committed to early childhood learning and mental health in schools, the initiative’s work shifted to align better with funder’s overall strategy.

The foundation learned about the Orlando work through its Seventh-Day Adventist Initiative, which was working with the Florida Hospital Foundation, a Seventh-day Adventist hospital. The hospital’s foundation was partnering with LIFT Orlando to revitalize the city.

“It was a great fit, as we share a commitment to providing services and supports to low-income communities to create opportunity and help children and families thrive,” Egan said. “The challenges of the West Lakes neighborhood are similar to those of the communities we serve in the D.C. area (Wards 7 and 8), so we had relevant experience and expertise to share.”

Bainum’s focus on childcare is worth noting. It’s a space that’s been overlooked even by more experienced early childhood education funders in favor of working with schools or directly with parents, which in some cases, can be an easier lift. Kids in school are easier to reach, in part because of the infrastructure schools provide and in part because of the long history of philanthropists working in schools.

Reaching parents is a little trickier, but there are a lot of innovative funders working to connect with parents through voices they trust—whether that’s a community leader or a trusted television show. Too Small to Fail is one example of an organization taking this approach. The Kenneth Rainin Foundation’s Talk, Read, Sing initiative is another that reached out directly to parents to get them to start building early literacy skills at home before children reach school age.

Despite all that work in the space, though, high-quality, affordable childcare is still an issue that gets much less attention than it deserves. Access to good childcare is not only beneficial to the child, it also bolsters the long-term financial health of a family. Affordable, high-quality childcare means a parent can return to work full-time. It also means that the child is receiving age-appropriate instruction to make sure she’s prepared to enter the school system.

Reaching kids before they enter school has become an increasingly urgent mission for early childhood learning funders, as emerging brain science reveals the importance of development from birth to age three—traditionally before children even enter the school system.

Bainum is part of a growing group of foundations that have made child care part of their strategy. It’s joined by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a longtime child care supporter among education philanthropy circles. The Pritzker Children’s Initiative also recently included child care as part of a one-year, $6.5 million pilot program to support birth-to-three development. In Philadelphia, the William Penn Foundation is leading work to create more space for kids in high-quality child care facilities. On the corporate side, Vanguard has also made this work a priority.

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