The Village, Osceola’s community preschool and childcare center, continues to work on improvements to provide the best opportunities for south central Iowa and Clarke County children and their families.
In 2018, The Village with the support from Clarke County Development Corporation, Clarke County, and the City of Osceola to paid off the building’s mortgage. This facilitated substantial long-term savings for all involved. As a result, The Village has already seen benefits – recently being able to replace all the hot water heaters, making improvements to the playground, and soon replacing the building’s roof and painting deteriorating siding.
“By the county, city and development corporation working with The Village to pay off the mortgage, hundreds of thousands of future net interest was saved by all parties,” said Bill Trickey, Executive Director of CCDC. “Now, the money that used to go toward that mortgage can be used for necessary upgrades, cosmetic updates, and retaining the best staff available.”
Housing the preschool program for four-year-olds through the Clarke Schools District, The Village also offers a curriculum program, implemented by Melanie Puck, for children as young as three-year-olds and care, including before and after school, to children up to 12 years old.
With the capacity to serve such a broad range of ages, The Village strives to give south central Iowa families a safe, caring environment they can feel good about. Opening at 6:00am, flexible drop off times are available to accommodate early shifts at local businesses, with pick up times as late as 6:00pm. Staff walk the school-age children out to the yellow bus for school every morning and are outside to greet them off the bus every afternoon. Daycare children are fed breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack daily, with plenty of opportunity to play and, of course, learn throughout the day.
Crystal Hansen, The Village’s Co-Director said,
“Our employees work hard to provide the best care possible, often exceeding necessary continuing education units, going above and beyond DHS requirements.”
“While we know we can’t accommodate every parent, there are things The Village offers to ease the worry parents may have regarding daycare,” said Glenda Flaherty, the other Co-Director of The Village. “The three-year-old preschool is a terrific opportunity to teach children to love learning from a young age. We accept low-income subsidies through DHS to ease the burden for those parents who qualify, as well as accepting special needs children.
The Village attracts the best providers and teachers by offering more than a job. Employees have the opportunity to participate in the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Iowa Program. This program helps those who want to earn their Childhood Development Associate certifications or pursue early childhood associate and bachelor degrees. Other benefits include being a Child Care WAGE$ Iowa eligible organization, making it easier for those who love working with children to be able to afford it.