For 66 years, the TLC Learning Center (TLC) has been serving the community of Longmont. TLC has had 13 different names over the course of its history with the most recent being the Tiny Tim Center. TLC serves children ages birth through 12 years old in a variety of ways. They have nine childcare classrooms serving 140 children ages six weeks to six years old. Additionally, they provide occupational, physical, and speech therapeutic services to over 350 children throughout the year at their center and through home visits.
One of the many things TLC is proud of is that they work with blended classrooms. As their website shares, “TLC serves children in a fully inclusive, deliberately diverse environment to foster compassion and critical thinking in all of our students.” In addition, 50% of the children will receive some form of reduced tuition either through county or state resources. When children don’t qualify for those resources, in the case of those who are undocumented, TLC has a scholarship assistance program to support their needs.
Since 2013, TLC has grown to nine classrooms and added infants and toddlers to programs that were originally for ages three and up. While childcare services and therapeutic services continue to be their main programs, TLC is increasing their focus on early childhood mental health since that is progressively becoming a crisis for our community. Matt Eldred, Executive Director, shares, “During the pandemic there is more awareness that there are kids being diagnosed with special needs more so than ever.” They are seeing a growth and waitlist for their programs, so they are working to expand and accommodate more children.
The challenge continues to be hiring staff to help that growth since providing a competitive wage in the nonprofit sector remains difficult. However, since they reached the capacity of their 15,000 square foot space, Matt shares that they are excited that TLC is beginning to work towards a capital campaign with an eye on expanding their services that will benefit the community to a larger degree. The goal would be for TLC to be a one stop location for families to access support as well as access a variety of services including those from the county and state.
Matt Eldred has been the Executive Director at TLC for nine years. Before joining TLC Learning Center, Matt was the Executive Director at the Acorn School in Boulder. Matt feels, as a preacher’s son, that he has been involved with nonprofits his whole life. Additionally, Matt became the Executive Director towards the end of TLC’s time as a Catapult program participant with Social Venture Partners (SVP) and he credits the success of the work with SVP not only with helping rebrand the organization but also helping them to set up structures that have led to their financial stability and growth. They have grown their operating reserves from $190,000 to $2,000,000 and this makes them positioned well for their future growth plans.
You can become involved with TLC Learning Center by joining the TLC Board and supporting their fundraisers. The next fundraiser is the Kentucky Derby Party on May 7th. You can find tickets and information here. TLC also encourages community members to come and volunteer in a variety of ways. If interested, you can find volunteer information here.