Sibley, Iowa — The Sibley area needs more daycare opportunities. That’s the result of a survey that was recently commissioned.
The daycare in Sibley, Bright Beginnings is operated by Osceola Regional Health Center, Avera. We talked with their CEO, Ben Davis, and he fills us in on the situation.
(as said) “Over the last couple of years we’ve identified that we have we’ve had a lot of calls from parents asking for daycare and we just weren’t able to get them in because of there’s certain ratios that we have to meet and requirements. And so we thought we you know, we got to get people together and start talking about this and figuring out a plan to meet the needs of our community.”
Davis tells us what they have done so far, to that end.
(as said) “We’ve been working with First Children’s Finance. They’ve done quite a few daycare studies in the area. And so with that, we sent out a survey last fall and as well as looked at some census data and found that about 62 percent of families in the labor force have children ages 0 to 5 while 76 percent have children ages 6 to 17. A lot of parents indicated that childcare is affecting their employment and some of them had to leave early, missed work due to the provider being closed, or not available, or had to arrive late for work. As well as employers also indicated childcare is causing challenges for them. And so we are just in the beginning phases of identifying the survey data and then the next step is to identify… okay, what can we do to put together as a community to put together plans to meet the needs of our community.”
Davis tells us there could be a number of solutions, but he thinks they are headed in a certain direction.
(as said) “Well, I think the initial indication is that we want to provide some education for community members that may be interested in starting their own in-home daycare. I think education for the community might be part of that… part of the first step. So again, this is initial information, but we’ve got a lot of work to do and we just know that we’re going to need the community to step in to help with this project because it is a fairly large project.”
According to Davis, at this time, they don’t think that expanding Bright Beginnings will be the route taken.
Davis tells us that in a month or two they may have more information.