YWCA Boulder County aligns our programs with our mission to eliminate racism and empower women. One of the pillars of our work is economic advancement for women and families. Our keystone program Persimmon Early Learning, a critical community resource for over 40 years, provides reliable, quality child care that makes it possible for women to pursue education and employment.
Women, Work, and Child Care
When Persimmon Early Learning (as Children’s Alley) opened in 1977, child care was one of the biggest barriers facing women who wanted to go to school, build a career, or find balance in their lives.
Today, despite societal changes realized over the past 45 years, women are still more likely to be the primary caregivers for children. The rising cost of child and the pay wage gap are reasons that the pandemic had more impact on working women than on working men. Women still earn only 82 cents for every dollar a man earns. When families were forced to make decisions about which parent would stay home to care for children, it was often the woman who left the work force.
Supporting Boulder County Families
YWCA Boulder County supports hard working families who have moderate to moderately low household incomes as well as those who qualify for public assistance. These families comprise 20-25% of all Persimmon Early Learning enrollments. A sliding tuition scale and flexible scheduling options help meet their needs.
“My work schedule is variable, so I couldn’t do a fixed full-time schedule, but the drop-in spots are perfect for when I need child care so I can attend in-person meetings.” – Persimmon Early Learning mother
A Unique Wellness Program
Persimmon Early Learning is a Level 4-rated Colorado Shines Early Childhood Program. All teachers are highly trained ECE qualified professionals and skilled not only in guiding children’s intellectual, social and physical development, but also in improving their autonomy and their emotional development.
Daily fitness class with healthy, active play helps to develop motor skills, listening skills, language/vocabulary for brain development and kinesthetic learning.
“The mix of quality and affordability is what really sets Persimmon Early Learning apart. The nutrition focus, the fitness lessons, the really nice outdoor spaces – it’s great. And I really appreciate the social emotional learning. It’s so helpful that they talk about their feelings and learn how to regulate their emotions. They are giving kids the tools they need to develop those skills.” – Persimmon Early Learning mother
Each classroom receives twice-weekly nutrition classes that introduce healthy new foods and our partnership with Farm to ECE provides fresh, local produce that our Wellness Coordinator uses in nutrition lessons, along with field trips to local farms.
By serving three daily meals, parents don’t have to worry about packing a lunch, and all children enjoy the same healthy food together.
“It just helps so much with balancing everything to know that meals are taken care of at Persimmon for the day. I know there’s going to be really nutritious balanced food and it’s fun when you get the reports and see, wow, Margot tried quinoa today!” – Persimmon Early Learning mother
Persimmon Early Learning will continue to evolve in response to changing needs, while maintaining its focus on excellence and accessibility.
“I’m very thankful for Persimmon and all the staff. They are not just child care; they are like my family. They bring the human side to things, especially for moms, and really support you. There’s no judgement and I love their great communication. It’s more than just watching kids; they really support the kids and their psychology and development as well as support the parents. They look at each family individually and are flexible.” – Persimmon Early Learning mother