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Creating new daycare opportunities for families

NORTH LIBERTY– The success of one thriving North Liberty preschool and daycare program has given rise to another.
Creation Kids will open its doors at a second location this August. The current program, first established in 2000 at the North Liberty First United Methodist Church, was carrying a waiting list of more than 80 children.
Creation Kids Director Michelle Eide said with younger siblings so readily filling up available slots at the Christian-based daycare, “There was no way to reach out to new families or the Coralville community.”
The center will expand with a second location at the New Horizons Methodist Church at 2251 First Ave. in Coralville. The new center will be licensed for 40 children, and maintain the same Christian-based curriculum, the same preschool structure, and the same commitment to serving the communities that it always have.
“This is an awesome opportunity for us to serve even more families,” said Eide. “We all love what we do, and it’s important for us to continue to reach out.”
Eide will act as director at both locations. In Coralville, she will have the help of Kara Fenstermaker, who moves into the assistant director position at the New Horizon site after eight years as a lead teacher in North Liberty. Assistant Director Amy Clubb will continue to serve in North Liberty.
There is very little turnover at Creation Kids, Eide noted.
“We do have a lot of longevity here,” she said. “It makes it hard for part-time staff, because we don’t have a lot of openings as lead teacher available. This expansion gives some of our staff the opportunity to grow in their field and take on more responsibilities.”
It’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone all around, Eide said, particularly parents who are looking for the kind of setting where everybody knows your kids’ names.
“We are known for being small,” said Edie. “To be in another church helps us stay true to who we are. We have a relationship with the church and a pastor who comes and visits with the kids. That’s an important part of Creation Kids.”
Also key to the center’s success is its commitment to quality childcare. In 2010, Creation Kids earned a Level 4 rating in the Iowa Quality Rating System (QRS), a scaled assessment administered by the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS). The scale ranges from two to five stars, and there are only 13 centers in all of Johnson County who have achieved a rating on the scale, and just seven in the county who have earned Level 4 or higher.
Working toward a QRS rating at the new location will definitely be on the to-do list, Eide said, but “we will go for Level 2, and work our way up,” she said.
The new center is already filling up, with most of the children from the previously long waiting list being placed at New Horizons, which Eide said is a convenient location for both Coralville and North Liberty families. There are still a few openings. Like the North Liberty site, the new location will serve children three to five years old; there is no before-and-after school care, however. Both locations offer part-time, full-time and morning-only preschool options. Families whose children attend Creation Kids do not have to be members of either church.
Find more information at www.creationkidschildcare.com, or call 626-2284.