Printed letters, December 24, 2013

While watching TV news recently, I saw that “many” child-care centers are upset with what the city charges for the STARS program, and some said seven centers closed during the summer because of the cost-effectiveness of STARS.

I have to say, as a parent who has utilized both child care centers and the STARS and SCORE programs (at the same time — for two different ages of children), I am baffled.

It is comparing apples to oranges. STARS and SCORE do not accept pre-school-aged children. In fact, children must be 6 and have been through kindergarten. This means that the children who are in these programs are not leaving a child-care facility to instead attend STARS. These are kids who are in school during the year and go to STARS during the summer.

Another disparity is that STARS charges by the week. Whether one sends a child one day, three days or five, it is the same price. I believe the cost last summer was $79 per week. Child-care centers typically charge by the day and even offer a half-day rate.

As for the child-care centers that shut down over the summer, I wonder what they tell the parents of children who are 0 to 5 years old. Many teachers do not utilize child care while they are off in the summer, which would cause the number to decrease.

People also typically vacation in the summer or have grandparents who are able to watch children in the summer and during school breaks.

STARS is not luring clients from day-care centers as the customers are not the same. In fact, I only know of two centers in Grand Junction that offer school-aged care during the summer. If STARS shut down tomorrow, I have no idea how the providers in this valley would accommodate the 150-plus kids who would need care.

STARS is generating revenue — more than $100,000 by my calculations, which means the program is mostly self-funded. It is an affordable option that is fun for kids. It has coexisted with child-care facilities for years. This is the first complaint I have ever heard from anyone about the program.

JEN SCHMALZ

Grand Junction

Cabela’s staff deserves 
special ‘note’ of thanks

A special thank-you to the Grand Junction Cabela’s staff for accommodating the musicians of Tuba Christmas, which is sponsored by the Centennial Band.

The musicians recently were scheduled to perform outside in downtown Grand Junction at Wells Fargo, but due to the below-freezing temperatures, they needed to find an indoor place to perform.

Within an hour, members of the Cabela’s staff had cleared a space around the Christmas tree in the store, which allowed the tuba and euphonium musicians of all ages to perform their Christmas concert.

The people on Cabela’s staff went above and beyond to make this event happen.

GARY AMBROSIER

Director of Centennial Band 

Grand Junction



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