GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX)–Right now, Mesa County is short about 8,000 childcare slots but, Community Hospital is working to help fix the crisis with a new “early education” facility.

The hospital invited members of the community to experience the metaphorical groundbreaking, where kids with plastic hard hats and shovels posed to commemorate the occasion. Community Hospital’s Vice President of Business Development Tawny Espinoza says they are able to make Adventure Academy happen because of donations. “We received $2 million [of congressional funding] from Senator Michael Bennet, and we’re looking to fundraise the remaining costs,” said Espinoza.

The big question is, why is a major hospital opening an early education facility? “The majority of the healthcare industry is women based, and so to be able to have an onsite facility for these employees to take their children is going to be invaluable to these families,” said Adventure Academy Operator Jennifer Knott.

Adventure Academy will mostly cater to Community Hospital’s healthcare workers who are in need of childcare but will have some slots open for the community. This facility may not solve the entire childcare crisis in Mesa County, but it is certainly a big step in the right direction.