Little Hawks opens in Wega
Child care center fills demand
The Little Hawks Child Care Center officially opened on Monday, April 4.
So far 36 children are enrolled, but on the first day only one child showed up.
The other kids in his class were sick so Sebastian Bowden had all of the toys to himself, a new spacious classroom to explore and three teachers looking after his every move.
The only time he got cranky was when he had trouble taking off his long-sleeved shirt. He was overheating from playing and running around so much.
“We’re not going to see days like this again,” said Hope Steiger, the center director,
She expects enrollment to grow even more throughout the year.
Nicci Luedtke and Maddie Russ are new hires and will be teachers for the pre-school and the 2-year-old age groups.
The center has classes for the 2-year age group, a group for 3-4 year olds and another pre-school group. They also have summer care for older children.
Opening the center was the brainchild of District Administrator Phillip Tubbs when he looked into why some families were leaving the school district. The main reason was lack of child care. He proposed the idea to the school board and there were decisions, deliberations and COVID stalled the progress.
But once the momentum started, the high school tech-ed class was put in charge of removing the old fixtures and walls. Contractors were also hired and more progress was made.
Supply chain problems
But then supply chain problems arose and for the longest time, the door to the child care center was a sheet of plywood.
Brand new doors are installed at the entrance but high-tech security scanners are back-ordered, among many other things.
“I can’t seem to get anything. Amazon keeps cancelling orders,” said Steiger.
She pointed to some small plastic bins, the kind that keeps crayons and odd items organized to help a tidy classroom. She made four online orders for more bins and all of them were cancelled.
“I ended up just driving to Target and buying some,” she said.
The staff has decorated the walls with ABC-type pictures and images but the walls are still quite bare. Stieger plans to add more as long as she can order and acquire the educational materials she needs.
There is still more work to be done. The outdoor playground which will be located in the front of the middle school is on track for groundbreaking once the weather improves.
At the far end of the main classroom area, a hallway leads up to the stage area that is sealed off from the middle school cafeteria. In this space is leftover material from the renovation – old chairs, desks, electronic equipment, and various fixtures and building materials that could possibly be repurposed elsewhere.
The room has a tall ceiling and has the feel of a mini-gymnasium and this will eventually transformed into a play room.
“This will be perfect for those rainy days and a place for the kids to run around and develop their gross motor skills,” said Steiger.