District daycare OK'd at Holton
On a 5-2 vote here Monday evening, the Holton school board approved a motion to establish a district daycare starting with the next school term, utilizing two classrooms at the Holton Elementary School and employing two licensed instructors and one assistant. Board members Terry Lierz and Ryan Phillips voted against the measure with Lierz expressing support for a smaller scale start to the daycare than the one approved.
The new principal for Holton Elementary School next year, Taylor Dunham, in a report to the board, recommended that the daycare planning be put “on pause’’ due to the perceived current lack of adequate space.
Board president Dena Swisher said, however, “I don’t think we should wait.’’
Other board members agreed, saying the district has about 11 positions to fill in the district and that the daycare plan, as approved on the 5-2 vote, will allow the district to provide daycare services for up to 18 kids and can be a major incentive in attracting new staff members, with young families, to the district.
Two classrooms (one an art room) have been identified as possible locations for the district daycare that will be used primarily for kids of teachers and other non-certified district staff. In the future, the district daycare may be offered to the families of school patrons, if there are openings. The board is considering options for the daycare in the main building and also in the pre-K annex building.
The smaller scale start to the district daycare, as favored by Lierz, would have employed two instructors and the licensed capacity to serve eight kids of current teachers and district staff members, with no capacity to serve more kids, if those recruited to the district needed the daycare service, too.
Preliminary financial information compiled by Karla Tanking, district curriculum director, showed that the amount to be charged for the district daycare services (as approved by the board at the meeting) would cover the daycare’s expenses, except for any classroom or bathroom renovations that might be favored by the board.
“After reviewing all the information surrounding the daycare, and talking with Carrie Davis, as she is the incoming assistant principal, in order to gain all perspectives, it is my conclusion, while I believe the daycare would be an asset to the district over the long term, I do not feel the elementary main building has the adequate space to provide the long term solution,’’ Dunham said in his report to the board. “My recommendation would be to put the daycare on pause until sufficient funds would be available to do the necessary renovations to the pre-K space.’’
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