Childcare is a huge concern for many families, with licensed providers all around grand junction having a list of people ready to pounce on the next open spot. The city of Grand Junction is celebrating the opening of a new employee-based facility on Tuesday with a public ribbon-cutting ceremony.  This is a welcome addition since Mesa County is in what’s called a childcare desert, which means there aren’t enough childcare spots for how many families need childcare. In response to that need, the City of Grand Junction paired an $800,000 grant from the state with another $600,000 from the city for a new childcare facility.

Officials say this facility though will be able to cater to city employees with unusual schedules. This includes workers like police and fire who work different schedules and employees who don’t work every day. The city developed this project with its employees in mind, but it may end up helping others in the community. The building is anticipated to have 5 classrooms with 88 spots for children from 6 weeks until kindergarten but may allow for even more kids depending on those flexible schedules. Any additional spots not used by city employees will be opened to the community. There are efforts to also expand childcare at Community Hospital and with the county, and officials hope there will eventually be a spot for everyone.

Even with the addition of these childcare spots, mesa county officials say there’s still a long way to go. According to their childcare business plan, the county needs 4,000 extra childcare spots to meet the current demand.