Local childcare providers find strength in working together
A group of local daycare providers is working to form a network of childcare providers within Eudora.
Barb Kruger, a Eudora daycare provider, started the Eudora daycare providers support group six months ago. Kruger said the group's purpose is to establish a collective of providers within the Eudora area.
"Our main goal is to meet all the providers so we can get our own referral system going," Kruger said. "We just want to simplify it for the parents."
Kruger said she often receives calls from parents looking for providers in Eudora. She said parents have expressed frustration because some providers don't have vacancies and parents don't know whom to call next.
Kruger said there were basically two types of providers, licensed and registered. Licensed providers may care for up to 10 children, with no more than three under 18 months of age. Registered providers may care for up to six children, with no more than three under 18 months of age.
"I have a whole list of parents who keep calling me looking for daycare providers and I don't have any openings," Kruger said. "The numbers I'm giving them are turning out to be full. I get an average of one or two calls every couple of weeks. I used to go months without a call. You can tell that people are moving in (to Eudora)."
Kruger said she hoped to see all of Eudora's providers become part of the group. Out of an estimated 30 providers in the Eudora area, only about five attend the group's monthly meetings.
Kreative Kids Daycare owner Linda Chancellor is a member of the support group and said it had been beneficial to her.
Chancellor said she benefited from speakers who have addressed the group about infant-toddler activities. Other benefits include the group brainstorming on ideas to improve the childcare community.
"It's just kind of a problem-solving type of group," she said.
Kruger said she too has benefited. One speaker from the Douglas County Child Development Association spoke of programs available that reimburses providers for some food costs.
"I wouldn't do this without having that program," she said. "I feed about four to six children. I can't do that on my own."
Kruger said she's sending out a plea to local providers to join the group. She said stronger support would be beneficial to both providers and parents.
"We'd like more than the four that keep showing up," she said. "Ideally, if we got so big that we had to move to city hall or some church basement, it could only get better."
The group meets the third Thursday of every month at Chancellor's home, 723 East 13th Street. For more information on the group, call Kruger at 542-5256.