Kathy Cain was unsure if she should open a child care center. It had been suggested to her many times over the years, but she was skeptical. When she mentioned the idea to a friend, a fellow entrepreneur, he responded by finding her a building she could lease. But she was still hesitant.
"Everybody thought that just because I didn't have children, I should open up a child care business," said Cain. "... I couldn't make a decision, so I flipped a quarter - heads, I would, and tails, I wouldn't. It came up heads."
The coin flip led her to open KC's 24 hour Child Care Center. The facility was originally located in a small building behind Mamie's Kitchen on U.S. Highway 278. Over 27 years, the daycare doubled in size and moved to its current location at 5119 U.S. Highway 278.
The daycare provides 24-hour child care services on Mondays through Fridays, including curriculum-based classrooms and an afterschool program. The center first started its 24-hour service seven days a week, but due to the struggling economy, it had to be reduced to five days a week. They also offer a 10-week summer camp, which is open for registration.
This year's summer camp is based on a curriculum emphasizing character-building. According to Director Susan DeBose, activities adhere to the theme and include trips to animal rescue sites and nursing homes. Students also collect food contributions from family friends and relatives to donate to food pantries.
"These activities were designed to help character-building in children," said DeBose. "It helps teach things like the differences between right and wrong ... and to provide a helping hand."
Staff must have at least a GED or high school diploma and CPR certification. The center is currently staffed with 11employees, with many of the employees undergoing Child Development Associate certification. DeBose says the facility will soon require all staff members to be CDA certified, in accordance with the upcoming state law requirement for all child care employees.
This fall, the center plans to launch a private-funded pre-kindergarten program. While the program is still a work progress, DeBose has seen a growing demand of parents looking for pre-K options.
"We want to provide parents the opportunity of a quality program with a certified teacher, even though it won't be funded by the state, but by the parents," said DeBose.