September 29, 2014

Jeanette Villalobos, Director of Spanish Peaks Childcare Center in Walsenburg, CO, had heard of Early learning Ventures (ELV) before she knew of the the Race to the Top Grant. When she applied for a previous grant for her center, it was recommended to her that she become part of ELV in order to help with organizational tasks. But, between shopping for supplies, processing paperwork, and filing and organizing pages and pages of daily attendance sheets, she didn’t have the time to find out more about what ELV could offer her center.

Later on, when the HULA Early Childhood Organization told her about the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant which would be offering the ELV Alliance Shared Services model to selected child care centers throughout Colorado for free, she was very intrigued. And, when it was followed by a postcard and call from ELV that they had been selected to receive the grant, Jeanette eagerly signed up! “I wanted an organized method for keeping client data as well as the connections through ELV to purchase supplies at reduced costs,” said Jeanette. So, she enrolled this past summer, and has already started to see the benefits of using the ELV platform! According to Jeanette, “On a daily basis, I now use the ELV Attendance Tracking and Reports to keep track of children and staff. This data collection has made my life so much easier!”

For Jeanette, this replaces the paper forms that her center was previously using. So, through ELV, her center now has electronic tracking, and real-time reporting that eliminates the need for endless paperwork filing and manual entry for auditing.

Jeanette also says that the “Ordering online has been a big help.” She has ordered discounted supplies for her center through the shared purchasing platform from both Office Max and Constructive Playthings. Jeanette added, “I loved the ease of scanning the purchase order, not having to pay any shipping costs, and that it was delivered right to my door!” Again, this service has given her direct cost savings as well as time savings for her and her staff since they no longer have to go out and make those shopping trips.

The Office of Early Childhood – Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant partnership with ELV is offering 12-month scholarships to selected child care providers for free access to the ELV Alliance Shared Services model. The goal is for the partnership to expand ELV access to 100 providers (impacting a total of 6,500 children) by 2016. Since the partnership launched in May, the grant has already expanded ELV services to 17 new child care providers, serving an additional 1,105 children in Colorado.

Pictured in Photo: Kids at Spanish Peaks Childcare Center celebrate “All American Day” in July 2014 – they are enjoying a fun day with their friends as center staff are implementing new attendance and staff tracking systems as part of the ELV Alliance Shared Services model provided to the center through the Office of Early Childhood – Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant.