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The original item was published from 12/5/2022 4:45:51 PM to 12/5/2022 4:47:12 PM.

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Posted on: December 5, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Kids First Partners with Colorado Mountain College and Early Childcare Providers to Open New Spaces


Kids First Partners with Colorado Mountain College and Early Childcare Providers to Open New Spaces

Aspen, Colo. – Monday, Dec. 5, 2022 The City of Aspen’s Kids First program is excited to announce local partnerships that will expand childcare capacity in our community. Little Steps College at Aspen Colorado Mountain College (CMC) and Ajax Cubs for Mountain Kids at the Yellow Brick building in Aspen are now accepting families into their programs. 

“This is a win-win situation when the City is able to make progress on the City Council’s goal of Increasing Childcare Capacity with finding local talent to step into this space,” said Kids First Co-Manager Megan Monaghan. “We’re excited that months of work and investment behind the scenes has brought these opportunities to the community before the end of the year.”

Last year, the City started the design and renovation of an indoor and outdoor space at the Aspen CMC campus to open an infant childcare business with space for eight children. Simultaneously, Kids First sought a qualified, licensed childcare provider to run the center. Kids First serves as an early childhood resource center supporting quality, affordable childcare choices in Aspen and Pitkin County.

Little Steps College (LSC) at Aspen CMC will open early December 2022 under the leadership of Dana Ruiz. Ruiz was born and raised in the Roaring Fork Valley and has nurtured a passion for caring for children. She started at Faith Lutheran Child Care Center where she earned her Early Childhood Teacher qualifications. She has three years of experience and is excited about having the opportunity to be able to open her own infant childcare program as the director of LSC. 

LSC will provide high-quality childcare to infants aged eight weeks through 18 months of age and is the proud recipient of support from CMC and Kids First. Based on its contractual agreement, LSC will serve Colorado Childcare Assistance Program (CCCAP) funded children, first come, first served. When infant care space is available, priority is given to children of CMC faculty and staff, up to three spaces. Following that, spaces can be filled by the general public. 

For information on availability and the enrollment process, please email

Also opening this winter is Ajax Cubs, offering Preschool (ages 3-5), Toddler Care (ages 18 months to 3 years) and Infant Care (ages 2-18 months) in the Yellow Brick building in Aspen. Ajax Cubs was founded by the leadership of Ajax Adventure Camp, a local summer camp focused on outdoor adventure. 

Ajax Cubs staff, including founders Oliver Umpleby and Liz Beckwith, are uniquely trained and poised to deliver a blend of traditional early childhood teaching philosophies with outdoor adventure and exploration to create an experience well-suited for Aspen families. To explore opportunities and availability at Ajax Cubs, interested families should fill out an interest form at

To learn more about the City of Aspen Kids First programs, including financial assistance and early childcare resources, please visit


Contacts:       Megan Monaghan, Kids First Co-Manager, 970-920-5373 or
Nancy Nichols, Kids First Co-Manager, 970-920-5363 or

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