After more than a year of anticipation, the Alpine Village Community Daycare in Verdigre will open its doors this Monday morning. In early 2014, then-Alpine-administrator, Brian Vakoc, saw the need for more day care in Verdigre. His employees as well as other community members were struggling to find care for their children. He started the ball rolling on establishing a community day care, and sits on the Da care Council. Other members of the council are Laura Clark, Kelsy Jelinek Father Kizito, GiGi Larsen, Nick Mullanix, and Amy Pease.
Long-time private daycare owner and operator, Sue Morse, serves as the facility's Director. There are two other full-time teachers: Robyn Frank and Katie Fuchtman. Frank also serves as assistant director. Annie Jorgenson will work part-time. Additionally, there are several who are taking classes to be substitute workers, as well as many volunteers. "Some grandmas just can't wait to rock a baby," Morse said with a smile.
When the doors open Monday morning, over 18 children are expected to attend. The daycare is licensed for as many as 29 children, ranging from 6 weeks to 12 years old. Hours of operation are from 5:30 am to 6:15 pm, Monday through Friday.
Community support has been vital for success so far. There have been a plethora of fundraisers during the past year including fish fries at the Catholic Church, the Kolach Days Duck Races, and many private donations. The upcoming Trunk-or-Treat event at the Verdigre United Methodist Church just voted for all proceeds this year to go to the daycare.
When asked about community support, Morse replied, "I don't even know what to say. We are so lucky." She hesitated to name names for fear of leaving someone out. Two individuals who do deserve recognition, however, are Dr. Ken and Norene Pavlik, who donated the home in which the daycare is located. The workers also noted the Carousel Thrift Store in downtown Verdigre, as they have unquestioningly filled each need voiced by the daycare.
There are still a few items that are on their wish list: books (always!), a CD player, farm animals and Legos.
The daycare is non-profit. Therefore, they rely only on tuition, donations and fundraisers. In reference to all the donations, Jelinek is still in awe. "It has been like Christmas in July."
She is excited about the opening and future of daycare in Verdigre. "For a small town to have such an awesome staff is unbelievable."
Pictures of the daycare can be seen below.