Press Release: September 30, 2021


Successful childcare facility strives to fill the gap for unmet childcare needs in our valley.

Little Blue Preschool in Carbondale is an extension of Blue Lake Preschool in El Jebel, a non-profit childcare center with a 28 year history in the valley. Little Blue Preschool first opened its doors in 2015 to offer additional, much needed care in the mid-valley. Originally housed at a rental property, Little Blue Preschool has now set roots with the purchase and renovation of a permanent, single family home in downtown Carbondale. 

Officially opening in July 2021, the new Little Blue Preschool is located at 55 N. 7th Street and is home to 3 classrooms, providing care to 47 children in the mid-valley. Thanks to its increased square footage, Little Blue Preschool was able to increase its capacity by 22%, opening up 8 new spots to children, ages 6 weeks to 5 years, four of which were coveted infant spots. 

While the new Carbondale facility is a step in the right direction, demand for childcare still currently outweighs supply in the Roaring Fork Valley. “There are simply not enough spots for working families looking for care,” says Michelle Oger, Executive Director of Blue Lake and Little Blue Preschools. “Families who want their children in a high quality childcare program are put on waitlists, competing with their neighbors for spots. When families can’t secure a spot, they are forced to leave the community or pay a premium for alternate care, which many cannot afford. 60% of kids in Garfield County are being cared for by unlicensed providers. The valley’s lack of childcare is a real problem in our community.”

In its most bold move yet, Blue Lake and Little Blue Preschools are kicking off planning for phase two of construction at Little Blue Preschool. This exciting step forward will add even more classrooms equaling nearly 40 additional childcare spots to families in the community. “It’s the most aggressive move I’ve seen by an organization to close the gap of unmet childcare in the last several years,” says Oger. “With the support of our community, we are excited and prepared to lead it.” 

To kick off phase two, Blue Lake and Little Blue Preschools are pleased to announce the public phase of their capital campaign “Growing Together.” To date, Blue Lake and Little Blue Preschools have raised 50 percent of their one and a half million dollar capital campaign goal. Special thanks to Aspen Skiing Company, Valley View Hospital, and Alpine Bank for their leadership support. 

Little Blue Preschool invites the community to its Grand Opening during First Friday on October 1. Beginning at 5:30 pm, tour the new facility, located at 55 N. 7th Street, and enjoy free food and beverages from Propaganda Pie, Roaring Fork Beer Company and Casey Brewery, live music by Christian Gomez, as well as complimentary balloon animals and face painting for children! Little Blue Preschool’s Grand Opening is being sponsored by CHFA.