Tuesday, October 19, 2021 10:21 PM
MENTONE – The Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation may be opening a day care center for staff, the Tippecanoe Valley School Board learned on Tuesday.
According to information provided at the meeting, the daycare would be reserved for the children of staff and the location of the daycare remains to be determined.
Meagan Wilks, director of special services at TVSC, said childcare services were increasingly difficult to find in the community. She said she had three young children. Two are in school and the third is 2 years old, âso we had a hard time finding a babysitter at the start of the year. It’s just very rare.
Other school corporations in the area have looked at child care needs and have set up day care centers for staff, Wilks said. The staff told him about the need for child care. She has heard of people driving 15 or 30 minutes to drop off their children.
âIt just seems like a need, which is why we are looking at this here at Valley,â Wilks said.
It is expensive to start a daycare for staff, but Wilks said TVSC received a grant from the Kosciusko Community Foundation for the costs of starting the center.
“So this was just our opportunity to take a little more in-depth look at things and see if that’s something we want to do here,” Wilks said.
TVSC staff were interviewed to see if the center was something the school society needed, she said. There was an interest in the daycare. Eighteen staff members responded to the survey, which resulted in 26 potential children, aged 6 weeks to 4 years.
âTwenty-six children. It’s a lot of kids who need to go somewhere. So we just saw that there was a need, âshe said.
The majority of children would be 2 years old and under that people would need child care from the beginning of next year.
Wilks said a planning committee has been put in place to ensure all necessary steps are taken.
Superintendent Blaine Conley said the committee is working on a budget and the committee wants to make sure the board is comfortable “in terms of what we do as a school corporation”.
Board chairman Tom Bauters asked, with 26 children, how many people are needed to care for them?
Wilks said that’s one of the things we’re working on because there’s a set ratio that they have to follow.
Bauters said he imagines that the younger the child, the more help he needs. Wilks said that in infants there is a ratio that they would follow. Each year, this ratio could change. She said there were a lot of young staff, so âthey start familiesâ.
Board member David Lash asked if the center will accommodate children up to 3 years old and then enter kindergarten. Wilks said what they thought was that the center could power Mentone’s pre-school preschools so these 3 and 4-year-olds go to preschool and then go to staff daycare.
Board member Todd Hoffman asked if TVSC would have transportation to the center. Conley said the committee is looking at this.
In other matters, Council heard an update on the construction project at Fanning Howe High School.
Michael Schipp, senior project manager at Fanning Howe, said Fanning Howe had 19 separate meetings with a member of staff. These meetings do not include meetings with coaches. Fanning Howe had a meeting in high school, where they chatted with 17 coaches, representing 20 sports.
Fanning Howe took care of some post-meeting needs, including a sink and dishwasher in the training room. Other changes included a recessed entrance, water fountains, and pavilion views in the Hall of Champions near the pavilion.
In agriculture, changes included the addition of a planning office. In agriculture classes, an exhaust and a kitchenette will be added.
Shipp said his pool expert was able to take a look at the high school pool and it was possible to change the depth to the required 4 feet.
Fanning Howe plans to update the board on the project in November.
The Council also adopted the 2022 budget. The total budget is $ 24,789,746. The debt service fund is $ 2,986,242. The education fund is $ 13,248,077. The operating fund is $ 8,555,245.
The board of directors also approved several donations, including $ 24,000 from Bib’s Billfold. The donation was from the 2021 Sweet & Sassy Golf Classic and was to be used for student needs funds, teacher grant funds and the teacher and staff recognition fund.
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