Bright Beginnings

SBDC assists education facility with expansion

120 N. Hillcrest Dr. Montrose, CO 81401

970-252-3399 | Visit Website

A bright beginning is exactly where Amber Gardner’s educational facility began and now flourishes as a full-fledged daycare, preschool and soon-to-be private elementary academy. Thanks to some help from the West Central SBDC, the education facility has able to expand and start construction on new facilities.

In two years, Gardener has gone from a small daycare business with herself as the sole employee, to a burgeoning staff of 25 teachers and classroom aides. “This whole project is about investing in the future of our children,” says Gardner. “Research shows for every dollar spent in early childhood education, there is a seven-fold return on investment. We are here to help families.”

In the business world, the project is considered a huge success. In the education world, not only is it a huge investment in the community’s future, but the delight of hundreds of families. All of Gardner’s programs are education based and allow enough flexibility to teach to each child’s strengths. Her natural gifts as a teacher are on display when she gets 3 and 4-year-olds excited about math and science.

“I believe being an educator is one of the most important and rewarding jobs in the world. I feel privileged to get to know and make a difference in each little life I meet. I also strongly believe education begins at birth. As such, I view myself and staff as professional educators, not babysitters.”
Amber Gardner


In addition to a strong staff and avid learners, Bright Beginnings and the soon-to be opened Maslow Academy, have strong family support and a loyal parent committee. Teaming together, parents have held fundraisers to support the purchase of classroom equipment and a new playground.

With Amber’s passion for teaching, community support, and business planning and marketing services that were provided through the West Central Small Business Development Center, she has been able to realize her dream and create a successful education facility. “The SBDC provided excellent consultants and resources to teach me about cash flow, projections, marketing and public relations—all crucial tools that I needed to grow Bright Beginnings into what we have become today.”

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