Kennedy Elementary Child Care
By Olivia De Valk
STEVENS POINT – In response to a community need for group child care in the area, the Stevens Point Area Public School Board moved to create a child care program at Kennedy Elementary School in Junction City.
A recent survey of parents in the Kennedy Elementary School attendance area found that 68 percent of respondents would be interested in child care for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years if it was offered at Kennedy Elementary School.
The survey also found that a quarter of parents had open enrolled their child into another district due to the lack of child care.
The child care program at Kennedy will help keep students in the district and reduce the number of school transitions that the student will experience.
At the board meeting on Monday, June 14, Sherrie Stanczyk, 4K-Early Learning Program Principal, spoke to the positive effects that reducing transitions has on young learners.
Transitions are, “a huge source of challenging behavior,” Stanczyk said. “When we think about reducing and minimizing those transitions, we know that we could more effectively offer social-emotional instruction for students if we had a consistent environment and continuity between staff and classrooms.”
The child care program would share curriculum with 4K to create an even smoother transition for its students.
Jaime Granger, Kennedy Elementary Principal, estimated that the costs of starting up the child care program would be around 5,000 dollars, with money being saved by repurposing some items from the Bannach Early Childhood Center.
The child care program has the potential to help the district recoup loss of funds due to open enrollment and attract new families to the community, while providing local families a cost-effective child care alternative.
The child care services will be open to any child ages 3-6 and district enrollment would not be required.
The child care program at Kennedy Elementary will operate using the Stevens Point Area Public School District Community Services Fund.