Child care concerns discussed by city representatives

By Chris Swick
December 03, 2015

Child care in McPherson continues to be a hot topic of discussion in the wake of the closing of the Kids Come First Day Care Center in September.

Kasi Morales, Executive Director of the McPherson Industrial Development Company, says, however, there has been a concern over a shortage of child care options even prior to the closing of Kids Come First. In order to quantify the need, however, Morales says a committee put together a pair of surveys that were sent out, one at employers and one at the general public.

“From those surveys, the community survey said there was definitely a need,” Morales said. “It did back that up. It showed about 50 percent of the respondents would use a community childcare center and then the other 48 percent would possibly use it.”

As for the employers, 7 of the 10 companies surveyed stated they would either support a community care center or have benefits in place to help employees secure child care.

United Way of McPherson County Executive Director Anne Kirchner says the issue is a county-wide one.

“I've been in conversation with Lindsborg, the children's center up there is their daycare center,” Kirchner said. “They are identifying infant care as a huge need, and we have identified that, as well.”

McPherson Mayor Tom Brown says that the discussions in McPherson may need to branch out, including contacting the McPherson County Commission for their input.

“This may mushroom into, once we've talked about what our problem is right here [in McPherson],” Brown said, “if you want it on the county basis, maybe there needs to be a county childcare committee with Lindsborg, Canton-Galva.”

Before that happens, however, the McPherson Child Care Committee is planning to meet to discuss where they stand. That meeting is hoped to take place prior to the new year.