Child care resource fair planned

A resource fair for child care providers is set for 3 to 6 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Mesa County Workforce Center, 512 29 1/2 Road in Grand Junction.

Various early childhood organizations will offer information at the fair to participants interested in becoming child care providers. Scholarships also will be offered to help child care providers defray the costs of background checks and licensing.

The fair represents an effort to recruit child care providers in the face of a shortage in Mesa County, particularly for care for infants and toddlers. There are 184 licensed slots in the county for infants ages 6 weeks to 12 months and 255 slots for toddlers ages 12 to 24 months. By contrast, there are 1,577 slots for children age 2 to 5 years.

Corina Otero, an early childhood program specialist with the Mesa County Partnership for Children and Families, said the number of licensed child care providers in the community has decreased from 216 to 173 over the past four years.

For more information about the fair, call Western Colorado 211 by dialing 211.