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Kids Next Door at capacity

October 17, 2014
Pierce County Tribune

When HAMC was in the initial grant-writing stage, requesting grant dollars to move forward with an on-sight daycare, it knew there was an unmet need for childcare. Four months later, the daycare is at maximum capacity and has children on its waiting list.

"It's been a lot of work but very rewarding," said Lyndsey Graner, daycare director. "We've been able to meet a need for HAMC, Johnson Clinic and Haaland Estates employees and their families. We've also faced some challenges along the way. We offer extended hours for HAMC staff and it can be a challenge staffing those shifts."

At Kids Next Door, children are broken into age-appropriate classrooms for their daily routines. Each classroom works on developing fine and gross motor skills through art and science projects, free play/centers and games. On a daily basis children focus on numbers, letters, colors and shapes though age-appropriate activities. The teachers help the children explore things in our community with walks and field trips, which encourage discussions on what they see, hear, smell, feel and taste.

"I really enjoy going into the classrooms and seeing the children interact with their teachers." Graner said.

Teachers also take advantage of being close to the hospital by taking the children to the care center to visit and do activities with the residents.

"We are looking forward to our Halloween Party this year," Graner said. "We are planning to take the children to the hospital and care center and possibly Haaland Estates to trick or treat."

The daycare also offers bus services for the school-age kids. This service picks up and delivers the children to and from Kids Next Door. After school they are provided a healthy snack and engaged in indoor/outdoor activities, projects, and can receive assistance with homework if needed.

Recently, Kids Next Door passed its first unannounced visit from social services. During this visit the licensed social worker checked all of the compliances that need to be met for licensed centers.

- Dani Schell, HAMC Marketing Coordinator



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