Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Planned childcare center expected to open soon

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TOWER— With the start of the new school year, organizers of the planned Little Eagles Childcare and preschool center at the Tower Elementary School are anticipating opening as early as late September. For now, the opening is dependent on finalizing state licensing, a process that typically takes 3-5 months to complete. Center director Amy Richter submitted the initial application in late May, and she said she expects to have the process completed within the next few weeks.

The nonprofit center’s board has also begun advertising for staff positions. In addition to Richter, the center will be hiring at least one full-time teacher and several part-time assistant teachers, as well as classroom aides. Hiring should begin later this month.

Once licensed to open, the center will be holding an open house to give parents from around the area the chance to visit the facility and sign up for any remaining slots. The center will have at least 18 available slots, but parents have already reserved most of them, so parents interested in registering should act quickly.

In the meantime, Richter has undergone extensive training over the summer to help the center meet the requirements for Parent Aware certification, a rigorous rating system for quality childcare centers in Minnesota.

“We’re committed to maintaining the highest standards for the Little Eagles Childcare,” said Richter. “We’ve got a beautiful facility and will have highly-trained staff working with our young students. It will be an engaging atmosphere with a focus on fun and learning.”

Due to licensing requirements, the center will be limited to accepting pre-school age children, essentially those 33 months of age or older, for this year. Children as young as 31 months may be admitted if parents and center staff agree it’s in the best interest of the child.

The center will have two options for parents. A limited number of openings will be available for parents needing part-time childcare, with most slots designated for full-time enrollees. Currently, the facility is scheduled to be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., although hours could change somewhat depending on the needs of families, said Richter.

The center is still accepting donations of both cash and lightly-used toys appropriate for preschoolers. The center has received major donations to date from the Northland Foundation and the United Way, both of which provided major grants, along with generous contributions from Immanuel Lutheran Church, Vermilion Wilderness Fuel, Good Ol’ Days, Vermilion Land Office, and the Timberjay.

If you would like to donate, you can drop off items or checks at the Timberjay office in Tower. Or checks can be mailed to Little Eagles Childcare, PO Box 502, Tower, MN 55790. For more information or to register, call or text Amy Richter at 218-235-1694, or contact Marshall Helmberger at 218-753-2950.

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