New child care center aims to fix capacity issues

ALBION, Neb. - A new child care center is coming to life after years of researching and educating.

"Its intention is just to increase our quality and capacity of child care," said Lindsey Jarecki, board member of Boone Beginnings.

Boone Beginnings child care center in Albion is set to be finished in September. 

"It's really going to address the capacity issue," Jarecki said. "We have some wonderful in-home providers. Our health center has a child care center for their own employees, but at the end of the day there just isn't enough."

Through local research, Jarecki said they've identified that 80 children need child care.

"Our providers are expressing that they have pretty long waiting lists," Jarecki said.

According to Jarecki, the new facility will not take away from other local care centers.

"We still need those providers," Jarecki said. "Those providers are still providing a crucial service. We did not scale this to serve every child in our county, we scaled it to serve a gap."

The city has raised $4 million since 2018, for the facility and its programs. 

Jarecki said around two-thirds of those funds come from local businesses and even some people without kids supported the project.

"If parents don't have a safe place to leave their children or a place at all, they can't go to work and that has a direct impact on our businesses," said Jarecki.

The center will be done in September, with kids in the building in October. It includes six main classrooms, a natural playground, and a multi-purpose room. The center is for children in Kindergarten or younger.

"I'm most excited for the children," said Boone Beginnings director Mattaya Addison.

Addison said the year-long construction is worth the wait.

"Small towns have shown that people are not just for jobs and housing anymore or a good school system, they need that child care piece," said Addison. "I think it's amazing that the community could come together, see that that need was needed, and make it happen so that ultimately it will give back to their community."