Program would be welcome in a county critically short of day care slots
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Holy Trinity Schools has taken steps to offer additional day care at the West Point facility.
With child care slots a rarity in Lee County, and the subject of several studies going on in the county, the HTC board voted at their monthly meeting to create a day care service for three and four-year-olds at the elementary school in West Point.
Savanna Strunk, an onsite childcare supervisor, told the board that several families had inquired about the possibility of daycare in West Point. The system has the HTC Early Childhood Center in Fort Madison, but nothing in the West Point area. That facility cares for 2 to 5 year olds, but she said because West Point’s facility would be smaller, they have to start with 3 to 4-year-olds.
The school does have a preschool program, but the only current childcare center in West Point is Sunshine Child Care. Strunk said currently about six preschool students go to Sunshine and five from the PreK program.
“We have to be certified by DHS and then they make yearly visits and we would have to carry a license and all that,” Strunk said.
‘We’re hoping to start in August. We have to have the room approved by the fire marshal and make sure we are meeting their guidelines.
Strunk said if the day care doesn’t fill up with parents in the system, they would open it up to the general public. She said the system wants to get everything approved by July to get the facility opened by August.
“As long as we can get everything approved with the state, and I don’t foresee any problems with that,” she said.
Strunk said there would be a daily charge for the day care service, but Board President Loren Menke said the operation would most likely be a wash financially and not generate a profit for the system.
In an unrelated issue, the board established a policy creating a Catholic Identity Committee. The purpose of the policy would be to safeguard the catholicity of the Holy Trinity School System, to ensure that the school board, faculty, and staff operate in concert with Roman Catholic beliefs and teachings. The committee will be comprised of parish priests, the Chief Academic Officer, school principals, and school religion instructors, as well as board members appointed by the president.