In 1998, community members and leadership from throughout Clarke County came together to address the shortage of childcare access in south-central Iowa. With demand growing from local businesses, as well as an increase in families with infants and school-aged children, the need for more expansive childcare was at a breaking point. By 2002, with action being taken by the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC), the Clarke County Supervisors, and The City of Osceola, the doors at The Village Early Childhood Center in Osceola were opened, providing a larger, certified childcare space for the entire community. For that, The Village and its tireless staff and board members were awarded the CCDC Director’s Award by the Development Corporation, celebrating The Village’s contribution to local job creation and retention over the past 18 years.
“Childcare is a large component to being able to build a sustainable workforce,” said Bill Trickey, CCDC Executive Director. “The work done by the team at The Village provides strength to our local businesses and value to every child they serve.”
The Village has grown considerably since 2002 and the first days providing daycare services to the Osceola and Clarke County Community. Crystal Hansen, Co-Director of The Village, says they currently provide care for children 6 weeks to 12 years, offer 3-year-old preschool as well as coop with the Clarke Community Schools for 4-year-old preschool. They offer before and after school daycare for Clarke students and have extended hours (5AM to 6PM) for parents who need earlier access to daycare options due to their specific shift schedules through local manufacturers.
Leaders with the Development Corporation, the County Supervisors, and the City have all worked hard on supporting Osceola’s largest childcare facility. Through grants and program funding, The Village has been able to make improvements to the building and grow service options. Recently, through a grant from the CCDC, they were able to install geothermal heating and cooling to the building, as well as fund the extension of the pavement in the parking lots for easier and safer access. And in late 2019, the mortgage for The Village Early Childhood Center was paid in full, making funds available for additional improvements and program growth.
Check out the video below to learn more about The Village and the recent CCDC Director’s Award!
“The Director’s Award is a huge honor,” said Crystal Hansen. “We couldn’t have done this without the amazing support from the CCDC, The City and County, as well as the school, the parents and the community we serve.”
Making sure the community has a State licensed and trained childcare facility has been the priority of The Village’s board and staff since its inception. As recently as January, the facility participated in an advanced QRS (Quality Rating System) review process for childcare certification through the Iowa Department of Human Services. The Village staff look forward to the benefits of being certified 4-stars and possibly higher by the recent state review program, allowing them to offer further services for the children and the community.