ERIE, Kans. — Access to child care can be scarce in rural communities, sometimes families will need to drive hundreds of miles a week in order to find an adequate daycare.
One southeast Kansas community came together to change this in their hometown, and other communities.
“If we have young families coming in and they’re working families, they need a place for their kids to go. When people move into a community, the first things that they look at are housing and child care,” said Kelly Diller, Erie Community Childcare Center Director.
After opening its doors, Erie Community Childcare Center provided a much needed resource to parents like Kyleigh Moore.
“If we hadn’t had this daycare open, we had no where else to go. Having a structured business building that they can go to every day, that’s very exciting for us,” said Moore, Threads and Moore Owner.
Without another childcare center for miles, the project quickly became popular throughout the city.
“We have had so much support, not only people giving financially, but saying ‘Hey I’ve got this, will this work?'” said Diller.
Even local construction company Buntin Construction donated its time to help renovate the main street building to make sure it was up to code.
Once it begun operations, spaces filled up.
“The demand is there. For the most part we’re full, and we have a waiting list of eight.”
But work isn’t done yet, Diller hopes to expand the center’s service in the future.
“Our plan is to build and build a bigger facility so we can meet the whole need. We’re going to start proceeding with trying to find grants and things to help out. Our goal is to build a building that will house 99 and that way we can cover all that we need,” said Diller.
“Daycare is so scarce in small towns and so to have something set that you know is going to be here, I think it will help,” added Moore.