Well, a lot has certainly happened since my previous post! We are still in the process of expanding from an in home chidlcare setting to a center based setting. Since my initial update we have found a building that will suit our needs with some renovation. There were some concerns about the cost of bringing things up to fire code so we briefly looked into the possibility of building a brand new center rather than upgrading an existing building since we had initially thought the fire code updates would cost more then we eventually figured out they would be. Fortunately while we were going through the process of researching costs and locations for building new I was invited to speak at The Kansas Governor's Symposium on Early Childhood in October. While there I met the Executive Director of Phillips County Economic Development. He recently helped create a childcare center in Phillipsburg Kansas so he had a wealth of helpful information for me. He also pointed me in the direction of the Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office to get help in clarifying what exactly the requirements would be to bring the building we were initially interested in up to code. Around the same time we discovered that the cost to build new would be more than we initially thought and that bringing the existing building up to code would actually cost less then we thought. So now we're back to updating the existing building. What a roller coaster!
Now as you can imagine during all of this there was a lot of paperwork and financial things going on as well but I'll spare you from a lot of boring details. But currently I am working with a local bank, the Montgomery County Action Council, and our local e-community to complete funding for the project. While working on all of the details and paperwork for this (I swear I felt like my life was never ending paperwork for a while!) I was contacted by someone from the city about a grant they may be able to apply for on my behalf to renovate our building because it is in a revitilization district. I met with them, someone from the organization offering the grant and MCAC on Tuesday (what an exciting Christmas Eve!) to learn more about the grant and the process involved. It sounds like there will be some added time on our project if we apply for and receive the grant which would cover a portion of our renovations and of course as with any grant there are always strings attached but again, I'll spare you the boring details. Even so this is a major opporunity for us and would really help reduce overhead and I'm very grateful that the city thought of me when they heard about this grant. Right now I am basically waiting to hear back from the state about what portions of our renovations we could use the grant for and which grant path we'll be taking (you can receive grant funds for job creation or repairing a "delapidated" building each way has it's own pros and cons) and I will be setting up a meeting with MCAC and my bank soon to go over next steps. Currently I'm at a wait and see place again which I've found myself in several times now over the last few months, and for a take charge kind of person like me that's worse than all of the work involved so far! So I'll be ringing in 2020 full of hope (and some impatience) as we get closer and closer to our goal of brining a new, high quality, S.T.E.A.M based childcare and preschool program right here to Independence. Want to be sure to get future updates on our project and get your child on our waiting list? Just head over and fill out our waiting list form and you'll also be signed up to receive your free copy of my "Independence Local Parents Guide" as soon as it is released. Stayed tuned for pictures of the building we're planning to renovate and drawings of how we plan for it to look! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As you might already know the Tree House of Early Learning is working on expanding from an in home daycare to a center based program. We are excited to be able to offer our high quality care to more families in the area! Since I've been getting many questions about the process of expanding I thought I would start a blog to talk about the process as well as other early childhood education topics. I'll also be creating an e-mail list so you can stay up to date on posts as well as any other news that comes up so be sure to sign up for that with the form below.