Local News

Daycare, Head Start working together

A Garden City day care that has been in the community for 40 years is partnering with Kansas Early Head Start, a program offered by the Kansas Children's Servic

Date: 4/30/2009

Posted by Kansas Children's Service League on 4/30/2009

BY MONICA SPRINGER mspringer@gctelegram.com A program offered by the Kansas Children's Service League. Laurie Sisk/Telegram Community Daycare lead teacher Jessica Berry holds two year old Paul Elliott as she reads to the other children on Tuesday afternoon. Community Daycare, 505 College Drive, currently has four Kansas Early Head Start Children in its day care. It eventually will have two more Kansas Early Head Start kids and in return, the program will provide Community Daycare with funds to help three classrooms ages infant to 3 years old, along with staff training and educational materials. Nita Shelden, director of Community Daycare, and Sharlene Giamalva, child care coordinator for Kansas Early Head Start, said the move is a good thing for the community and for the kids. "We're helping each other," Giamalva said. "We feel really good about this." Shelden and Giamalva said it's a unique opportunity for both organizations, and that Kansas Early Head Start usually partners with home day cares rather than community day cares. The partnership has been in the works since early January, Shelden and Giamalva said. Kansas Early Head Start will pay Community Daycare for the current four spots and eventually six spots for its children, plus other costs on an as-needed basis. Community Daycare has 90 kids. The age groups are infant, toddler ages 1 to 2, a room for 2- to 3-year-olds, and three rooms for kids 3 and up and not yet in preschool. The Kansas Early Head Start kids are ages infant to 3 years old. Early Head Start is a free, weekly home-visitation program that works with expectant parents and parents of children up to the age of 3. The program focuses on the child's health, safety and development, as well as provides parents with immunization information, parenting and discipline techniques and connections to community resources. Anybody in the community can send their child to community day care, with the only restriction being space limitations. The difference between the day care and the Kansas Early Head Start program is that the program is for kids whose parents are going to school or working full time. Funding for KCSL's Early Head Start program is through a grant by the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services and is offered in Finney, Grant, Pratt, Seward and Stafford counties. Giamalva said the partnership with Community Daycare is unique because it's the only partnership with a community day care in southwest Kansas.