Daycare Dilemmas

daycare2‘The need is huge’ for child care, preschool, providers say

By Cynthia Scheer Telescope News

The need for daycare and pre-school providers is great, local childcare providers said.

Both Chris Kirkpatrick and Ashley Nutsch opened new facilities in Belleville this fall and said their daycares are already full, and they have a waiting list.

Nutsch opened a new facility a few weeks ago and was full with nine kids just two hours after announcing her opening while Kirkpatrick moved her daycare from her home to Main Street Tabernacle in early August and added preschool activities.

Both Nutsch and Kirkpatrick said they have plans to expand in the future. Nutsch was a stay-at-home mother in Narka with her four children when she decided to open a daycare. She opened earlier this month in a rented house in Belleville just a few doors down from the Republic County Junior/ Senior High School. Alyssa Reilly is her full-time helper. Nutsch said she was able to increase the number of children she could watch to 12 with the addition of Reilly, though she still has a waiting list of 14 children.

Nutsch said she thought most of her daycare children’s mothers stayed at home with their children because there was no child care available. Two of the children at the daycare belong to Nutsch and one belongs to Reilly. Eight of the nine other children live outside of Belleville, Nutsch, including Scandia, Courtland and Munden, and all but one of the 14 children on the waiting list live outside of Belleville also.

“The need is huge,” she said of parents looking for daycares.

Nutsch was previously an assistant teacher at the now-closed Stepping Stones Preschool in Belleville, and she ran the daycare when help was needed. She will soon have a bachelor’s of science degree in early childhood education, she said, and plans to open and become director of a daycare center as soon as January.

Nutsch said her current education and experience makes her qualified to care for 40 children; with her bachelor’s degree that number increases to 60. Nutsch said she is looking for a facility to house a daycare center and hopes to start out with 21 children. Making changes

For 15 years Kirkpatrick ran Chris Cross Applesauce out of her Belleville home. The decision to move the daycare, now called Bible Buds Academy, to Main Street Tabernacle came about a year ago after Kirkpatrick said the church’s pastor announced his vision of offering part of the church to the community as a place to house a daycare.daycare3

After renovations of the back portion of the church and surrounding property, which included installing grass, a fence and playground, the new child care facility opened in August with Kirkpatrick as the provider and Sara Samples as a part-time pre-school activities teacher.

Kirkpatrick said she hopes to “move toward just three and four year-olds” in the future and focus on pre-school activities.

“I have a heart for pre-school,” she said. “Having a pre-school has always been my dream.”

Samples taught preschool when she lived in Georgia, Kirkpatrick said, and spends a few hours a day doing preschool activities with the older children. Kirkpatrick said she moved to the new facility with only three of her previous Chris Cross Applesauce children because the rest moved up to kindergarten. Within three weeks she was full again, she said, adding that she now has 13 kids, including some kids who are only in her care for part of the day, and she maintains a waiting list.


Childcare Aware Listings for Republic County area providers

Looking For Child Care?  Call 1-877-678-2548 to speak with one of our knowledgeable Resource Specialists.  They will assist you in your child care search by providing you with a free list of child care providers; the list is personalized to meet your needs.  Search tools and valuable information is also available at!

Interested in starting a daycare? Find resource providers below.

Child Care Licensing – Kansas Department of Health & Environment

Primary Child Care Facility Surveyor Contact:

Mishele Longfellow Cloud County Health Department 910 West 11th Street Concordia, KS 66901-4003 Phone: 785-243-8140 Fax: 785-243-8149 E-mail surveyor: Website: Child Care Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.Curtis State Office Building

KSU Research & Extension

Patricia Gerhardt

District Extension Agent
Home & Family
Concordia Office
(785) 243-8185

Childcare Aware


Parents whose child care needs aren’t met are more likely to have higher absenteeism and tardiness issues, both of which effect company productivity. Child care resource and referral services save parents an average of 16 hours per child care search, 80% of which would have been spent during work hours (Working Woman, 1996). Child Care Aware® of Kansas is here to assist business with efforts to support employees by providing resources that help parents find reliable, high-quality child care.

We have many different resources available for employers/businesses to get the word out and assist parents. For a supply of any of the materials listed above or convenient files to email or print, please

Click on a link below to explore tools available:

2015 Republic County Resource Sheet

Republic County 2010 Workforce Study Child Care Profile