Childcare

New Head Start program facility opens in Willmar

August 28, 2020

New Head Start program facility opens in Willmar
WILLMAR—Willmar’s Bright Light Head Start program opened its doors Wednesday at its new facility located along Highway 71 thanks to the efforts of United Community Action Partnership and the Kandiyohi Power Cooperative. The organizations worked together to create a larger and much needed space for Head Start, which is an early childhood education program. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held along with tours of the new building. The space, which underwent many renovations to turn it into an

Kandiyohi County day cares to receive help from EDC

April 26, 2020

Kandiyohi County day cares to receive help from EDC
WILLMAR — Home-based child care providers are another segment of the overall economy suffering during the coronavirus shutdown. “They have not been closed by the governor, but they are facing some challenging times. They are operating at about 50 percent capacity right now,” said Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission. To assist these crucial businesses, who could be providing care for the children of essential

Willmar’s Head Start to have a new home

April 8, 2020

Willmar’s Head Start to have a new home
WILLMAR—Living up to both of their names, United Community Action Partnership and Kandiyohi Power Cooperative are working together to create a larger and much needed space for the Head Start program operated by United Community Action Partnership. Kandiyohi Power Cooperative, with Marcus Construction, is renovating the cooperative’s building located on Highway 71 Northeast overlooking Willmar Lake, into the new home for Head Start in Willmar. “We really needed to find this space,”

Christmas ribbon is cut at new day care center in Spicer

December 20, 2019

Christmas ribbon is cut at new day care center in Spicer
SPICER—Brand new, pint-sized tables and chairs, books, cribs and colorful toys were unpacked from boxes Monday, and in a mad dash against the clock, were put in place in the new child care center in Spicer in time for a ribbon-cutting Thursday morning. A collective “whew” could be heard by the volunteers and staff from the Kandiyohi County Area YMCA who have been involved with the fast-paced project to create a new day care facility to help meet a serious shortage of child care in the county. Located

Kandiyohi County Rural Child Care Innovation Project

December 19, 2019

Kandiyohi County Rural Child Care Innovation Project
Family childcare and childcare centers are businesses with accounting measures and regulations to follow. They are essential for maintaining the workforce for our businesses and instrumental in providing early education at a critical stage of child development, beginning the preparation of our future workforce. Understanding the problem A 2018 study completed by First Children’s Finance (FCF), an organization known nationally for its leadership in childcare planning and financing, revealed a shortage

Making a dent in the daycare shortage

July 31, 2019

Making a dent in the daycare shortage
A wall-breaking ceremony takes place Tuesday at the Green Lake Mall in Spicer, launching a project to turn an unused portion of the mall into a YMCA daycare center that will provide spots for 90 children in northern Kandiyohi County. The center could be open as early as Dec. 1.  Wielding sledgehammers and taking a stance familiar to HGTV viewers, a series of local volunteers took numerous swings Tuesday morning at a wall in the Green Lake Mall in Spicer in a ceremonial step to bring

Rural Child Care Innovation Program

December 17, 2018

Rural Child Care Innovation Program
The EDC has identified childcare as a goal for 2018 and is participating in the Rural Child Care Innovation Program led by First Children’s Finance in Kandiyohi County. The program is a community engagement process designed to address the challenges of childcare in rural communities. A recent survey of local employers and parents resulted in more than 1,200 responses. A community conversation was held on November 29th where the results of the survey and the future of the program were presented.

Child care – Important to local and regional economic development

October 16, 2018

Child care – Important to local and regional economic development
Family child care and child care centers are businesses with accounting measures and regulations to follow. They are essential for maintaining a workforce for our businesses and are instrumental in providing early education at an important stage of child development, beginning the preparation of our future workforce. Not having enough safe, affordable and accessible child care options is being identified as a growing barrier to economic development in west central Minnesota, including Kandiyohi County,