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.
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.
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