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Network: Faculty and Staff Resources, News and Events

Network: Faculty and Staff Resources


Fitzsimons Early Learning Center info and updates


Grand Opening set for Fitzsimons Early Learning Center
Tuesday, June 21
3:30-5 p.m.
Tours of the center will begin at 4:15 p.m.
2255 N. Wheeling Street
Light refreshments will be provided.
E-mail for more information.

4/18/11 --------------

Early Learning Center adjusts opening time to better accomodate working parents

The Fitzsimons Early Learning Center, scheduled to open in May, will have hours starting at 6:15 a.m. instead of 6:30 a.m. According to the director, this change in hours will allow more time for parents whose work shifts begin at 6:45 a.m.

4/11/11 -------------

Tours offered at  the Fitzsimons Early Learning Center

Faculty, students and staff are invited to tour the Fitzsimons Early Learning Center - 2255 N. Wheeling Street
          Monday, May 2; 4–6 p.m.
          2255 N. Wheeling Street

The location is on the southwest corner of Wheeling Street and 23rd Avenue).

These 30-minute sessions will be hosted by Bright Horizons, the center’s contracted child care provider.

If you have any questions:
• E-mail  
• Call the Ready…Set…Growing! Hotline at 720-777-8578

2/22/11 -------------

Update: Full-time and part-time tuition rates have been determined. 

Full-time weekly rates:
• Infant:                         $310
• Toddler:                       $300
• Twos (24-36 months): $285
• Preschool:                    $245

Part-time weekly rates:
                    5 days      3 days    2 days

• Infant:        $310        $233     $164
• Toddler:      $300        $225     $159
• Twos:          $285        $214     $151
• Preschool:   $245        $184     $130

2/10/11 ------------

During the next Fitzsimons Early Learning Center’s pre-registration sessions, Bright Horizons will accept pre-registration applications accompanied by a $25 deposit, which will be applied to the initial $100 pre-registration fee.

Update: Tuition has been determined.

The following represents the weekly rates:
• Infant: $310
• Toddler: $300
• Twos (24-36 months): $285
• Preschool: $245

Do you have colleagues interested in receiving updates? Encourage them to e-mail with their request to 'opt in' for updates. (Note: The opt-in list is not a wait list and does not guarantee you a spot at the center.)

1/25/10 -----------

The Fitzsimons Early Learning Center’s pre-registration sessions have been planned. During these sessions, Bright Horizons will accept pre-registration applications accompanied by a $25 deposit, which will be applied to the initial $100 pre-registration fee. The sessions are scheduled as follows:

  • Thurs., Feb. 10, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., Ben Nighthorse Campbell building (Shore Family Forum)
  • Tues., Feb. 15, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., Employee Respite Room located on the first floor of The Children's Hospital
  • Wed., Feb. 23, 8 – 9 a.m., Employee Respite Room located on the first floor of The Children's Hospital

Do you have colleagues interested in receiving updates? Encourage them to e-mail with their request to opt in for updates. (Note: The opt-in list is not a wait list and does not guarantee you a spot at the center.)

If you have any questions…

Tuition is being determined and rates are expected to be announced in January.


Fitzsimons Early Learning Center
(updated April 18, 2011)

When is the early learning center projected to open?
The center is tentatively scheduled to open May 2011.

Where is the center located?
The location sits on approximately two acres across from the Fitzsimons Credit Union on 23rd Avenue and Wheeling. The exact address is 2255 N. Wheeling Street.

Who is eligible to use the center?
Any child who is a legal dependent of any employee of The Children's Hospital, The Children's Hospital Foundation or University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus faculty, staff and students, or of the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority.

If I am paid by the University of Colorado, but spend all of my time at The Children’s Hospital, who is my employer?
Your employer is where you receive your paycheck.

What child care provider will be contracted to provide services at the center?
Bright Horizons has been contracted as the child care provider for the center. Founded in 1986, Bright Horizons Family Solutions is the world's leading provider of employer-sponsored child care, early education, and work/life solutions. Bright Horizons manages child care centers for many of the world's leading corporations, hospitals, universities, and government agencies.

All Bright Horizons child-care centers are designed to meet the standards of excellence set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

How many spaces are available?
There will be approximately 248 open spaces.

How are spaces allocated to each participating entity?
Space allocation is determined by center funding levels.

For what ages will the center provide care?
The center is open to children ages 6 weeks to 6 years (pre-kindergarten). (Kindergarten will not be offered.)

What does the center offer children with special needs?
At Bright Horizons, we do not emphasize special needs; we strive to nurture each child’s unique qualities and potential. Putting this mission in motion, we have been able to successfully accommodate children with disabilities and special health care needs into our centers.

Most children with mild to moderate special needs such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, learning disabilities, or other physical limitations are able to participate in routine program activities. In partnership with the nurse consultant and families, we work together to best meet the child's needs, on a case-by-case basis.

What are the full-time tuition rates?
The following represents the weekly rates:
• Infant: $310
• Toddler: $300
• Twos (24-36 months): $285
• Preschool: $245

What defines the “Twos” and “Preschool” categories?
Twos typically are children ranging in age from 24 months to 36 months, as well as some three year olds still working on toilet training. Preschool is typically three- to five-year-old children in a mixed-age setting. There is flexibility between the programs to allow for flexibility in meeting the needs of the individual child.

What are the part-time tuition rates?
The following represents the weekly rates for children enrolled in part-time care:

                 5 days             3 days          2 days

• Infant:      $310                $233              $164
• Toddler:    $300                $225              $159
• Twos:       $285                $214              $151
• Preschool: $245                $184             $130


Do we accept Child Care Assistance Program?
This currently is being discussed.

Are there additional fees?
There will be a $100 initial registration fee or $125 registration fee if you have more than one child enrolled. If your child receives a space, the $25 pre-registration deposit will be applied to your $100/$125 initial registration fee. Thereafter, the center’s annual fee will be $75, which will offset the cost of insurance and the review and update of participant files.

If your child does not acquire a space, you can either choose to remain on the wait list that will be created once all spaces are filled or request a refund of your $25 deposit. If your $25 deposit is refunded, your name will be removed from the wait list.

Will all of the spaces offered be available when the center opens?
A phase-in of spaces is anticipated due to expected enrollment demands. The phase-in period will benefit the children as starting children in smaller groups allows the center’s staff to help each child comfortably acclimate.

How will the phase-in work?
The phase-in of spaces will occur over the course of one to three months following the center’s opening.

Can you elect which “phase” would work best for you?
The center management team will make every effort to work with parent needs during the phase-in process.

Is there a wait list?
There currently is no wait list. (The selection process is being planned and the details will be communicated as soon as the logistics are determined.)

Will there be a separate waiting list for The Children’s Hospital and the University?
Yes, there will be a separate waiting list for The Children’s Hospital and the University.

What happens if there is not enough space to accommodate all who are interested?
Bright Horizons will accept pre-registration applications accompanied by a $25 deposit, which will be applied to the initial $100 pre-registration fee. 

In the event that there is more interest in the center for which we have space, a lottery will be conducted to give all families the same opportunity for enrollment based upon the allocation of spaces.

If demand for spaces results in the creation of a wait list, will priority be given to siblings of center attendees?
The intention is to serve the family as a unit; therefore, siblings will receive priority as spaces open.

What is the lottery?
If the demand for enrollment exceeds the number of spaces, then a lottery is planned to provide equal opportunity for enrollment.

If I work at The Children’s Hospital and my partner is a student at the University of Colorado, can we both submit pre-registrations for the lottery?

If my name is selected in the lottery, but I haven’t had my baby yet, what are my options?
You are able to be placed on the wait list. Some families may opt to pay full tuition to hold the child’s space.

How soon will employees, who are planning to have a child, be placed on a wait list?
You are encouraged to submit a pre-registration application as soon as you know you are expecting.

What will be the hours of operation?
The center will be open from 6:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. (Hours updated 4/18/11)

Will there be flexibility for part-time schedules?
If space allows, part-time options will be available. The two-day schedule will be Tuesday and Thursday. The three-day schedule will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The center will be open 6:15 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. There will be no weekend care.

On what days will the center be closed?
The following holidays will be observed: New Year’s Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Please note that these holiday closures are subject to change.)

Will children receive vacation credits?
Vacation credits will not be issued. This is primarily due to the fact that we will be holding the child’s space in the center in their absence.

What are the criteria for a “sick” child?
The center will have specific criteria that will be followed in regards to sick children. Children will be excluded from care when they exhibit symptoms including, but not limited to:  fever, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and undiagnosed rashes.  A more detailed illness policy will be provided upon enrollment.

What security measures are provided at the center?
The entry doors will be equipped with a security access system and all areas surrounding the center will be fenced.

Will there be security cameras inside and outside of the center?
There will be security cameras focused on all center doors and the parking lot.

How will people access the center?
The center will have a card reader. Access cards will be issued to parents/guardians only.

How will the center’s staff be selected?
Bright Horizons employs a local recruiter to help with the process of screening and hiring staff.  Bright Horizons will conduct State of Colorado criminal background checks, as required by law, on employees, along with a more comprehensive background check required by Bright Horizons.  Our comprehensive screening and interview process takes into account the center’s culture and a fit with the Bright Horizons’ philosophy.

Will meals be served or does the parent provide lunches?
The center staff will serve the children breakfast or a morning snack, lunch and an afternoon snack. These meals are cooked on site.

Will the center allow cloth diapering?
The center cannot accommodate cloth diapers. Disposable diapers will be used and provided by the parent.

Is there a playground for the children to enjoy?
Yes, there will be separate play areas outside. One playground is dedicated to the infant/toddler group while the other is designed for the preschoolers.

What is Bright Horizons’ curriculum?
Everything we do every day is curriculum. Every contact we have with a child is an opportunity for learning, whether we are changing a diaper, eating a meal, or engaging in an educational activity. It is not just what is planned or taken from a book because we believe children also learn from meaningful experiences that occur often and are relevant to their lives. 

We call our type of curriculum “Emergent” because it grows from the interest of the children and the activities that occur around us. Our curriculum is play-based and blended with certain academics and planned in such a way that children learn the foundations and basics for later experiences and successes in elementary school. 

I’ve seen centers with play-based curriculum before; it doesn’t seem that children learn when they play all day.  How will my child be prepared for school?
Every parent wants his/her child to succeed in school, and we want to make sure that your child is prepared for learning throughout his/her life.  Bright Horizons knows that the skills your child gains in preschool have more effect on him/her that any learning experiences he/she will have in his/her lifetime.

It is harder to see what children are learning in a play-based curriculum, but what the educators tell us is that the hands-on activities provide children with more concrete learning than rote learning or memorization, which seems to indicate that learning, has taken place.  However, when children touch, feel, figure out, and explore, the learning that occurs in their brains has more impact on their understanding and cognition than other types of learning.

We do a number of things to document children’s learning.  First, we keep portfolios of the child’s work to record and evaluate progress over time.  Second, teachers use early childhood assessment observations to record the skills and behaviors a child exhibits against normative expectations for the child’s age. 

The portfolios and observations will be used by the teacher to prepare periodic updates of your child’s progress at conferences. Third, we document projects with pictures, words, displays or books so that parents know what is happening in our centers.

We also communicate with the public school kindergarten teachers to understand what their expectations are for children entering elementary school.  We encourage parents to read the books and articles in our parent library or to view the training videotapes that we use to train our teachers.

The more you know about our philosophy, the more comfortable you will be with our center and our approach.

Bright Horizons has followed children enrolling in elementary schools and can share a research project that confirms that children are prepared for school when attending one of our programs.
What is your educational approach or program?
Bright Horizons’ approach is rooted in educational philosophy and theory as well as in practice.  It relies on Erik Erickson’s stages of socio-emotional development as well as Jean Piaget’s theories of how children think and learn and on principles of physical development.  These have been woven into the Curriculum called The World at Their Fingertips. The publication of the Brain Research in young children supports the philosophy we have chosen for children in our care.

To teach effectively we believe that teachers must be mindful of the needs of the group of children in their rooms as well as the individual needs and characteristics of each child in the group.  Teachers must understand child development in order to plan effectively for the activities the children do, to create a learning environment, to establish daily schedules, and to communicate with parents. 

What role do parents play at the center?
Parents are welcome to visit the center at any time.  Bright Horizons will have a parent support group composed of representatives from the various classrooms.  Parents are encouraged to volunteer to be a part of this group.   A parent library will be available for parents, and parent education sessions will be held periodically.

Bright Horizons’ curriculum is anti-biased, non-stereotypical, and celebrates the diversity of the families we serve. To help children understand similarities and differences between the people in their lives, we ask that parents help us by sharing their family traditions and everyday lives with us.  Your participation will broaden and enrich the lives of all of the children in our center.

Can parents drop in whenever they want to visit with their child?
Yes, we maintain an open-door policy for parents of children enrolled, and Bright Horizons encourages parents to visit when their schedule allows.

What is Bright Horizons’ discipline philosophy?
Bright Horizons’ objective is to help children learn self-control.  When children’s behavior is out of bounds, we use a variety of techniques to help the children learn how to recognize their feelings and manage their reactions. 

We also believe that good teachers create environments for learning that decrease out-of-bounds behaviors. When children are interested and engaged in the learning environment, we will have fewer problems to address. We do not use “time out” as we have found that it does little to change behavior.

What is a “transition” class?
Transition is the group of children who are around two years of age. At Bright Horizons we move children from room to room when they are developmentally ready so we call our groups by their developmental age – infant, toddler, and transition preschool - rather than chronological age.   

A number of factors occur prior to a child’s transition to the next classroom.  The family and teacher work together to review the child’s progress in all areas of development.  We will discuss with the family any other things in the child’s life that might affect his/her readiness to make a change. 

A transition to another classroom may depend upon space availability. You can rest assured that your child’s teacher will always have developmentally appropriate activities, toys and materials available for your child to use regardless of where they are located at the center.

What happens if your child is enrolled at the center and you leave your job?
Families will have up to two months to vacate the center following the resignation or termination of the parent’s employment on campus.  Bright Horizons reserves the right to ask a family to immediately vacate the center depending upon specific circumstances.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions regarding the center’s services?
Contact either of the following Bright Horizons staff members:
• Gail Schleuning, regional manager, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, at
• Angella Schroller, director, Fitzsimons Early Learning Center, at