City should admit it was wrong, drop daycare

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The Aspenites have become too accustomed to bemoaning the loss of businesses serving the working class inhabitants. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, the city is preparing to shut down long-standing, locally owned, local businesses. Their target? Pre-kindergarten daycare.

In a change that had the best intentions, Kids First and the City of Aspen worked together to tighten rental restrictions at the Yellow Brick Building, which is home to several separate child care providers. Rather than the intended result of pressuring providers to be open for more days, these lease restrictions will instead bankrupt two long-standing providers and destabilize child care centers for every 100 working families.

In both newspapers, officials responded. Rather than admit an inadvertent mistake and reconsider the problem, they persist and blame the child care providers. The Kids First city manager and board of directors say they are eager to find new child care providers who can meet their new lease requirements. Either they’re madly naive that there’s a stock of skilled educators lying around the valley waiting to be hired or, worse, they’ve already discussed a behind-the-scenes deal to drag an existing provider into the yellow brick. once they have driven the existing child care companies.



To Aspen and the kids first: It’s normal that what seemed like a good idea doesn’t work out the way we expected it to. Times are tough and tough political decisions that improve the quality of life for families in Aspen are not easy. But it’s wrong. Don’t stay in that direction and move more local and local businesses away. Review your draft lease. Don’t take away stable child custody from 100 Aspen families.

James and Kate Spencer



Aspen

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