Moose Lake Schools Soon To Include Child Care Services

By KBJR News 1

March 27, 2013 Updated Mar 28, 2013 at 7:15 PM CDT

Moose Lake, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The Moose Lake School District is responding to the community's desire to expand child care in its school system.

Many parents in the small town are looking forward to the convenience, however, some private child care providers want to keep child care out of schools.

Beginning this fall at the Moose Lake Elementary School, more children will be utilizing its services.

The school will be offering all day and half day child care services to children ages three through five, titled the Mini–Moose Lodge.

School officials surveyed parents in the community asking if there was a need for such services at the school.

The response indicated that parents want a more convenient place for their pre–school aged kids to be during the day, especially those who take their older children to the school anyway.

"With open enrollment, it's become a competitive market for students and we do very well in the market because we put out a quality product here at Moose Lake. But we want to continue to meet the needs of our community and we feel that this is one of the needs that our community has," Bob Indihar, Moose Lake School Superintendent, said.

Parents will have the convenience of bringing their child to the facility that will soon become their school, but what about cost? Parents will pay 25 dollars for a full day of care and 15 dollars for a half day of care.

"It would be just like a normal child care operation where parents would pay for the service that we're providing and again, it would go to the school," Indihar said.

But some wonder whether school districts should be in competition with private sector day–care providers.

We spoke with Brenda Hall, the owner of Poka Dots and Peeps Day Care.

Hall says the Schools new service is a threat to her business and she's concerned she'll lose customers when the program opens.

Indihar says child care providers in the Moose Lake area have been notified, and that the district is not looking to make a profit.

School leaders hope to break even while providing a service parents need.

"There is potential for profit, but there is potential for loss as well," Indihar said.

Many parents are eager for what is to come September third.

"We are very excited to use the child care here at Moose Lake Elementary in the fall. Right now I have a daughter in first grade and I also have a four year old daughter. Unfortunately this year, because my husband and I both work full–time, we couldn't transport our daughter Piper to pre–school," Megan Nielsen, a parent, said.

"And a lot of parent's don't have that transportation for preschool. They have to pick the kids up at 11:30 and that takes out of their work day. So, it's going to really be convenient for them to be part of a pre–school program and a child care program," Julie Duesler, a Moose Lake School teacher, said.

Enrollment for the Min–Moose Lodge begins on April Fourth and parents can register their children on the Moose Lake School's website.

Justin Reis, NNC.