Church to become child-care center
Emphasizing the word “will,” Hillsboro Community Child Care Committee chairman Tristen Cope said a committee was moving forward with obtaining the Trinity Mennonite Church building in Hillsboro for a child-care facility.
“We have been working for this since January 2019,” Cope said. “We’ve done surveys, conducted training sessions, and acquired community partners. We meet at least once a month.”
With dwindling numbers, the church congregation decided in December to find another use for the building. The congregation agreed to transfer the facility to the child-care committee with the stipulation that church members could continue to meet there as long as they desire.
The committee has five members: Cope, family and youth development extension agent; Erin Hein from the Marion County Health Department; Max Heinrichs and Carla Harmon from the Hillsboro school district; and Anthony Roy representing Hillsboro Community Foundation.
Cope said a database from Child Care Awareness of Kansas indicated the county was meeting only 31% of its child-care needs.
The committee is seeking community support to spread news about the new center and gain more partners. They plan to meet with businesses and others throughout the county to seek support.
Cope is hopeful the process of acquiring the building won’t take long.
“There are a lot of steps to take to be licensed by Kansas Department of Health and Environment,” Cope said. “There are at least 100 pages of regulations, but it’s all for the health and safety of the children and the community.”