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Friendship Village prepares to open new child care facility

WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – The luxury of having a parent stay at home with the children simply is not a reality for most families.

This often means having to find and pay someone to do it. That’s only if the parents can find anyone at all available.

Friendship Village in Waterloo is expanding their repertoire in order to help out.

“We didn’t know what we were doing getting into this process, but we’ve had a tremendous amount of support and help,” said Lisa Gates, CEO of Friendship Villlage.

On Wednesday, Friendship Village broke ground on a new child care facility, albeit somewhat delayed. With walls already on their way up, they’re venturing out of senior care.

Gates said over the years they’ve watched employees struggle to find child care and even leave as a result.

“With our staff we have about 50 that would participate in this and then we’ve talked to a few other business and they are very interested in partnering with us. We’ve been assured that we won’t have any trouble filling up our spots,” she said.

Much of Iowa is considered to be a child care desert. This means there are not enough child care options available to meet the demand. A study by the Iowa Women’s Foundation estimated the state falls short by about 350,000 child care spots.

With the potential to accommodate up to 105 children, the folks at Friendship Village hope to put a dent in that problem.

Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart said having adequate child care options are important in keeping and growing a workforce in Waterloo and in the Cedar Valley.

“You think about the connectivity to employees. We want to make sure employees have access to being able to find work and this is another step in that great direction,” said Mayor Hart.

As employees of Friendship Village work day and night, the new facility will have child care options around the clock for parents not working a normal “9 to 5.” “It Takes a Village Childcare” will be providing child care around the clock and seven days a week.

They hope to have the new facility complete by July.

In a non-traditional child care practice, the retired seniors at Friendship Village will have the opportunity to interact with the children who will be ranging from birth to five years of age.

For more information on daycare openings they ask you call 319-291-8110.

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Collin Dorsey

Noon & 5 p.m. Anchor

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