Bright Beginnings Child Care by Sharon Black

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Even though rural towns have a growing elderly population, there is a need for childcare. Sometimes it is a struggle to find placement for children. In-home daycares have a limit to how many children that the provider can have. Through a survey of the Smith Center Economic Development three years ago, the idea to have a nonprofit child care center that could allow children of all ages with a total of 20 to 40 children was born.

One original board member, Nancy Shaffer, explained that there have been grants and donations to fund the daycare called Smith Center Child Development Incorporated doing business as Bright Beginnings Child Development Center.
Sunday, March 1st, was a Baked Potato Bar & Bake Sale fundraiser for Bright Beginnings Child Care Center in Smith Center, Kansas, hosted by the Smith County Ministerial Association. It has been 3 years in the making and in March they will close on purchasing Smith County Family Practice building at the old hospital in the south part of town. That clinic is fairly new and they are planning on putting a peaked roof over the flat roof.

Hiring a director and staff is in the future and the childcare will be under strict specifications and rigid guidelines from the Department of Health and Environment.

Nancy said there has to be one person tending to four infants.

Smith Center’s new hospital is on the east edge of town and it employs many nurses with small children. With many new businesses in town, the need is there. Smith County also has other towns in it, Gaylord, Lebanon, and Kensington.
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Economic Development in Smith Center states that people want to move to Smith Center and there needs to be the necessary resources in place to accommodate new residents.

Nancy stated the fundraiser was a success. The board is seeking grants, receiving donations, and planning more fundraisers.

Sharon Black is from Smith Center, Kansas. We welcome her to our team of volunteers.

Smith Center KansasSharon Black has been writing for many years including newspapers, short stories, and as a publisher. She was born in Nebraska and has lived in Kansas most of her life. In her hometown of Smith Center, Kansas, Willa Cather’s hometown is to the north and Bob Dole’s hometown is to the south. Sharon is a press release writer for the National Parks Arts Foundation, and writes for b U n e k e magazine. The biggest project she has accomplished is co-writer of the TV movie Home on the Range. The movie is about the song, which is the state song of Kansas and the lawsuit surrounding it in the 1930s, and finding the rightful author of the song. Sharon is distantly related to the Mississippi writer Eudora Welty.

Nancy Shaffer board member

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