Shiocton sees success with its district run daycare

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SHIOCTON, Wis. (WBAY) - The Shiocton School District prepares to celebrate the first anniversary of its child care center.

The Shiocton school district-run day care is open to school staff and the community and gives high school students an opportunity to learn child care skills (WBAY photo)

Inside the Shicoton school building, which houses K through 12th grade, is the Shiocton Child Care Center.

According to center director Samantha Curtiss, "We have an infant room, toddler room, two year old, preschool, and school-aged, so we offer before and after-school program for our school-aged children and then we offer them summer care as well during summertime."

The district opened its own licensed daycare center last year to meet the needs of school staff and the community.

"We have a lot of teachers here that have children, young children, infants even that were in need of childcare, and it's something when you're working in a district and the biggest city we have where a lot of people work or a lot of people live is actually 25-30 minutes away it gets to be very challenging looking for childcare," adds Curtiss.

The facility, which has capacity for 50 kids at a time, offers care for not only the district staff but also the community. Its creation, however, is helping to retain and attract teachers and other school employees.

"I bring him in, I drop him off, and I get to go to work - one building. But it's also convenient. I get to see him through the school day, if they take him on a walk, I obviously get to see him in passing, or if he's not feeling so well they'll pop in and say, hey, he's not feeling so great can you come take a look, so it's obviously very convenient," says Dannielle Kern, an elementary school counselor who uses the center for her son.

With the child care center intermingled in the school building, it's not only good for the toddlers and infants, but also for the kindergartners through the high schoolers.

Kern adds, "They're modeling expectations and rules for all of the younger students, and then our high school students have work in school experience where they can come and learn. If they're looking into education or child care, they get to come work with these kiddos and they get to learn and apply what they're learning here in the daycare."

While no one is really surprised with the success of child care center, everyone is overjoyed with how well it's been received.