KEOKUK, Ia (WGEM) — Starting Tuesday, a new daycare in Keokuk will start accepting applications to give parents the help they need.
Since last September, many parents in southeast Iowa have had to go elsewhere to find daycare after one of the biggest in the region closed because of child neglect and violating state laws
The old daycare, Rosie Posie closed in response to an incident last September when a four-year-old boy was left on a hot school bus for several hours. It closed days later, leaving parents scrambling.
“We are in a childcare desert. Even with the addition of 110 children at full capacity over the years, we will still be in childcare desert,” said Shelley Oltmans, a parent in need of daycare.
The new Keokuk Community Child Development Center is about to open, filling a need for childcare in the area.
The center will open with completely new staff and space for 25 kids from infants all the way to 5-year-olds.
Director Stephanie Stancil says opening the daycare has been an extensive process.
“We had to put together the tables, the chairs because everything came in boxes. Even getting all the pieces of the toys was a big group effort,” Stancil said.
The center is operating as nonprofit, licensed child care. Getting help from Keokuk Economic Development Corporation and Area Community Foundation.
“It’s been a long time coming of paperwork, ordering everything for the rooms, so we are super excited to get people in here,” Stancil said.
The center hopes to have a summer program this year for 30 to 40 children up to 10-years-old and expand the daycare to 110 preschool students by next December.
Stancil said, “we would like to not just be a childcare center, we are here for the education and development. Not just our kids, but the community.”
Local businesses and industries are backing this idea, because it helps ease their workers worry to find quality daycare.
“They don’t want to be doing it, so they are looking at this and saying, if I can throw some money at an organization that will help provide that for my workers, I will be coming out ahead,” said Stancil.
The center will begin enrolling children of all ages. Care for children ages 2-5 will be offered upon opening. Care for infants up to 24 months will begin in the near future. The school age summer camp program will begin the first week of June. For enrollment information, please contact the center at 319-313-8831
The center will also be holding an open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at 2300 Plank Road at Trinity United Methodist Church. You can tour the classrooms, talk with the staff, and even apply on the spot.
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