GRISWOLD, Iowa. (KMTV) — In Griswold, Iowa there's a definite hometown feel. What's difficult though, is the lack of child care. There's only one in-home provider in the area which presents a problem for parents.
"We have families driving up to an hour just to take their child to daycare. That's before work. And maybe missing out on work and opportunities because they don't have child care close and they can't drop them off before school starts," said Jared Wyman, the president of the Noble Initiative Foundation.
One survey found that 84 parents in the area turned down work or a promotion due to a lack of help.
The school district sees it. Some parents have left altogether. One parent, Hannah Bierbaum says these losses are creating a domino effect.
"Each student is worth about $7000 that the state will give you in funding. If we're sending out 70 kids, we have to pay other school districts that money. By keeping them here, the money stays here, stays local," Bierbaum said.
Here's a solution for the city: a child development center that is open year-round with space for 100 kids ranging from 6 weeks to 12 years old.
"It'll be four rooms, for different age kids with a half-gymnasium. Try to utilize a playground for the little kids locally and we'll also have a partnership with the school to use their playground for the older kids," Wyman said.
There's hope this project will take some stress away from busy parents.
"Right now, I'm driving to Lewis, five miles away. It's still out of the way, next town. By having something in town, it'll be convenient. Especially for those parents already taking their kids to school," Bierbaum said.
Parents are creating a village to care for all.
So far, they've raised about $1 million for the center. The final cost will be more than $2 million. A groundbreaking is planned for late fall and the center could open spring of 2024.
Donations can be sent directly here:
Noble Initiative Foundation
PO Box 103
Griswold, IA 51535