PC Tots child care center nears its opening
PC Tots, a new local non-profit organization that is aiming to provide affordable and high-quality child care for Park City’s working parents, is in the final stages of preparation before opening its doors.
Libby Bailey, executive director of PC Tots, said the organization recently submitted its application for state licensure. The process could take up to 90 days, but Bailey expects to be up and running by the end of February.
"It’s a pretty tedious process, because they’re looking at every single health and safety aspect of our facility, of our curriculum, of our policies," she said. "So not only do they ask a lot, we’re putting more into it than they’re even asking, because we really want to make sure all our i’s are dotted and T’s are crossed."
A large renovation of PC Tots’ rental space at 1850 Sidewinder Drive has been completed, the organization is beginning to hire staff and a curriculum has been developed. But due to the uncertainty of the timing of the licensing approval, Bailey has been hesitant to set an exact opening date. She said that ambiguity is unfortunately necessary.
"It’s hard when you’re telling a mom who really wants to go back to work soon that we’ll be open next month," she said. "Maybe something comes up with the state and we can’t open on that day, then this mom is wondering where she’s going to put her kid. So if it seems like there is an ambiguity about when we’re opening, that’s why. We have to make sure we’re respectful of what parents are going through. If they plan on something, and we don’t come through, we don’t want to let those parents down."
Bailey said that when the center does open, it will initially offer care for infants (ages six weeks to 18 months) as well as a class for two year olds.
"We’re going to start with that because there are fewer programs that serve that age in Park City than there are for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds," Bailey said. "The feedback we’re getting from the community is the infants and the twos are the biggest gap."
Care for the older children will be offered in the ensuing months, as resources for things such as staffing needs become available. However, PC Tots will offer that care immediately if there is a large need. Bailey is asking interested parents to sign up for a wait list at pctots.org so the organization has enough information to make those decisions.
She added that PC Tots’ ability to be flexible to the needs of parents is one of its greatest strengths.
"We can say, ‘OK Park City: What do you need?’" Bailey said. "Right now we’re looking at holidays, for instance, and discussing things like the fact we could be open on New Year’s Day, if there is a need for it. If people need it, we can do it. We’re trying to be really responsive."
While the community waits for PC Tots to open, Bailey is encouraging parents to check out the facility. She said parents can schedule a time to meet with her at the care center for a tour, so they can get to know Bailey and the organization.
"It’s very important that when you’re dropping off your child, you know the people behind it," Bailey said. "You know our mission, you know that there is a face to this. I’d love to talk to any parents and show them the facility and make sure they feel really comfortable."
Bailey is optimistic that parents who meet with her will spread the word and spread even more excitement about PC Tots.
"We’re really relying on moms and dads to communicate with one another and tell each other about PC Tots," Bailey said. "In all my experience, the recommendations of other moms matter way more than a website. It’s important to us that parents are talking about us and spreading the word that way."
For more information, visit pctots.org.