Filling the gap

Linking Families and Communities donates laptops to 12 area child care centers

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Bernadette Ricke, director of Kidzone Daycare at First Presbyterian Church, receives a new laptop from Elizabeth Stanek, executive director of Linking Families and Communities, on Monday. Linking Families and Communities donated 37 laptops to 12 child care centers in the area.

In an effort to support the needs of local child care centers, Linking Families and Communities is donating more than three dozen laptop computers to 12 child care centers across Calhoun, Pocahontas and Webster counties.

“Linking Families and Communities feels it is important to support our child care providers, especially centers that are operating on thin budgets,” LFC Executive Director Elizabeth Stanek said.

The 37 laptops LFC is donating to the child care centers will serve a variety of uses.

Many centers, including KidZone Daycare at First Presbyterian Church, will use the laptops for staff to complete online professional development and training requirements.

“Ever since COVID hit and everything, there’s not a lot of face-to-face trainings that we get to go to,” said Bernadette Ricke, director of KidZone.

Ricke said that for the last couple years, some KidZone staff members have been bringing in their personal laptop computers from home to use for online trainings for themselves and other staff members.

KidZone received four of the laptops.

“We’re just very grateful that we got this opportunity to get these from them,” Ricke said. “It’s always great when we’re able to get things like this for our center, so we’re just grateful that it came our way.”

As Stanek said, many of the child care centers are operating with a tight budget and cannot normally afford to purchase new technology.

“We don’t have the funds for that and everything else,” Ricke said. “When Elizabeth told us about this, we said this would be a great opportunity.”

“We saw a gap and we’re filling it,” Stanek added.

Some centers will use their laptops in the classroom for curriculum needs and for electronic check in/out systems, as well as for other needs that arise.

“Our communities cannot afford to lose the quality child care they have,” Stanek said. “We would like to help grow the amount of child care spaces, however we cannot do it alone. Significant investment from businesses is really needed to increase the number of child care spaces.”


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