The march back to school has begun for many children, so we are turning our attention to one of RidgeGate’s local amenities providing solutions for parents needing top-notch childcare and early education. New Horizon Academy is located within an impressive facility just off RidgeGate Parkway and Sky Ridge Avenue. Adjacent to the front door is the office of Director Avery Hill, who beams and waves at anyone arriving at the Academy. We sat down with Avery to discuss how her program supports families and employees in the area.
You’re located between the Lone Tree Arts Center and Target, with a view of the Bluffs that many would envy. Can you describe your facility for us?
Avery: We have a beautiful two-year-old facility with lots of natural light in every room. We have two outdoor playgrounds—one for little kids and one for bigger kids. They each have shade structures as well as a few climbing structures that double as water features. We also have outdoor garden beds which we use as part of our STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) enrichment. When the weather turns cold, we have an amazing indoor gym, too.
Tell us about the people who come here daily…
Avery: We currently have 20 staff and 120 children, which includes full-time and part-time students. We are licensed to provide care for infants and children up to age eight. We have two classrooms for each age group, and we’re hoping to open a third toddler room soon. We’re open from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm
Monday through Friday. We do have a waitlist, but spots open often.
We understand you have a unique nutrition program here as well?
Avery: We do! We have a nutritionist at our home office who builds our weekly menus. Our cook makes all our meals in-house and fresh every day. Our meals are served family style with the help of our teachers.
Do you have relationships with any of the businesses in RidgeGate?
Avery: Yes, we actually have a partnership with Kiewit who has a regional headquarters nearby with roughly 1,700 employees. We offer discounts for families who work there.
As the Director of the Academy, your office is right by the front door. You can see everyone coming and going. Let’s tell them a little more about “Miss Avery” as an individual.
Avery: I’m a fifth-generation Colorado native. I loved babysitting when I was growing up, then I got a degree in Early Childhood Education from CSU. I actually met my fiancé at CSU. We’re getting married next year in Estes Park. We just bought a house in Castle Rock, and he works right down the street at the Charles Schwab campus in RidgeGate. We love to ski in Winter Park and do basically anything we can do in the mountains.
That’s got to be fun having your fiancé work just down the street. Do you ever meet for lunch nearby?
Avery: I tend to eat lunch at the Academy, but we sometimes bring in lunch for our staff from surrounding businesses. The other day we ordered from Native Foods in RidgeGate, which I had never tried before. We have a staff member who is a vegan, so I thought we should support them. It was fantastic!