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Flance Early Learning Center

By: David M. Foster, CFP®, CAP®

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Hello, listeners, and welcome to the 18th episode of the Gateway Giving Podcast!

My guests today are Aurdeen Clarkson, Tami Timmer, and Latrice Dinkins, all of whom work for Flance Early Learning Center, a diverse, intentional early childhood education center that nurtures children and adults in a trusting culture of love, Respect, Accountability, Compassion and Consistency.

Early childhood education is an issue that is near and dear to my heart, as I have two kids currently in an early childhood education center, and I have another kid who’s not far removed from one. In contrast with K-12 education in our country, early childhood education is primarily funded by tuition paid by the families utilizing those services. As a result, instead of spreading the costs of early childhood education across our communities, the way we do with K-12, the families who are currently utilizing those services have to foot the entire bill, which is usually somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500 per kid per month. This means that if you’re not in the top income quintile, you’re likely going to have to make some tough choices.

You might decide not to send your kid to an ECEC because the cost would be greater than the amount you would earn from your job. Of course, for a parent who chooses to stay home with their kids, re-entering the workforce can prove challenging, and most people who find themselves in that situation will never be able to get back on their pre-kid income trajectory. And, of course, this phenomenon impacts women, disproportionately. Alternatively, you might decide to send your kid to a home-based daycare, but, if you do that, the odds are high that your kid will be less safe, and they won’t be instructed by someone who has an educational background in early childhood development. Lastly, you might just decide to bite the bullet and pay for the entire cost of a high quality ECEC, which has the potential to put a strain on the rest of your finances.

Taking into consideration the context of what I’ve just described, what the staff at Flance Early Learning Center is doing is remarkable. They’re providing as high a quality of early childhood education as you’ll find in a state of the art facility, and they’re doing it in the poorest zip code in Missouri. A zip code where the median annual household income is roughly equivalent to the cost of providing high quality early childhood education to one infant for one year. Obviously, most of the families they serve don’t have the income to pay full tuition, which means that they rely heavily on philanthropy, as well as government grants through the Head Start Program that is administered, in our area, by Youth In Need.

As always, if you have any questions, requests, or suggestions for people or organizations for me to interview, you can email me at david@gatewaywealthstl.com. Now, without further ado, here is my interview with Latrice, Aurdeen, and Tami!

Latrice Dinkins, Aurdeen Clarkson, Tami Timmer and Flance Early Learning Center are not affiliated with or endorsed by LPL Financial, Gateway Wealth Management, or Cornerstone Wealth Management.


David Foster, CFP®, CAP®

Hi, I'm David Foster! I am the host of this podcast, and I am also the founder of Gateway Wealth Management, LLC. I hope you found something valuable in what you just heard/read.  If you'd like to read more about me, click here. If you'd like to read more about my firm, click here. Thank you for listening!