In 1997, Terry Alley, school superintendent, Erlinda Gonzales, director of Social Services, and Tom Steen, executive director of Archuleta Education Center requested a meeting to discuss the need for infant and toddler care. That meeting, along with a community planning process that had been going on for over a year, pointed to the lack of services in quality early childcare in Archuleta County.
Members of our community could not obtain care for their young children and were not able to continue in their education or employment. With the welfare to work reforms, this put the county in dire straights. All of the above pointed to a need for a quality early childcare and education program. With the recent research connecting the importance of brain development within the first 5 years and a child’s later success in life, it was our mandate to go beyond babysitting and provide an early learning center.
In February 1998, Seeds of Learning opened for 8 infants in the nursery of the Methodist Church. Ten months later parents were desperate as their children outgrew the infant room and pleaded for a toddler room. The town of Pagosa Springs made a toddler room possible with the use of the old Mary Fisher Clinic. In January of 1999 a toddler room was opened and in September of 1999 a preschool room was also opened.
At of the end of May, 2003 the administrative configuration changed. Teddy Adler Finney, the first Director and founder, resigned. Lynne Bridges, a longtime resident and a home daycare provider since 1980 in Pagosa Springs, became the Executive Director of Seeds of Learning.
After many years at 365 San Juan St. (shown above) with help from the local community, a DOLA grant and many front range funders Seeds raised 1.3 million dollars and built a new center that could serve more than twice as many children. In August 2011 Seeds of Learning joined the ranks of less than 10% of America’s early care and education center and became NAEYC Accredited.
Community funding, business sponsorships and individual donations are critical for Seeds of Learning. We thank all our generous donors for their continued support. Please consider a financial gift to help our program flourish.