Right behind St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hubbard Lake is Small Wonders Academy, the new daycare center that’s opening up on Tuesday of next week.
They started the plan to open nearly two years ago, with the idea that they would be able to open in three months. That did not materialize, however, but it was all in the name of safety for the children.
“There has been a ton of inspections, and licensing, and rules we have to follow, regulations that we have to make sure that we’re okay with, so it has been a long time coming, but we are finally ready, and excited to open,” said Debbie Choe, Childcare Director at Small Wonders Academy.
The need for adequate daycare is something that has long been an issue for the northeast Michigan area. When you Google daycare, you only find three options: Alpena, Lincoln, and Hillman. Here at the church, they are happy to provide that service to the parents who have needed it.
“Between here and those places, there’s nothing, at least that I know of,” Choe said. “They call us a ‘childcare desert’, and it’s for good reason, there’s not a whole lot. So, I think it’s important that there be childcare, we’re trying to make sure that we can fill that need.”
There are a lot of different ways that the area can improve on the need for childcare in northeast Michigan, namely getting different grants and variances that people can apply for in order to open more daycare locations.
“I’m all for it if people want to open more in this area,” Choe said.
Choe and the staff are excited to get started next week in providing that service and care for the area.
“Very excited, look forward to it, we have a few children enrolled already, so we’ll have a couple of kids on our first day,” she said.
Tuesday will be the first day of something that has been in the making, and has been severely needed, for a long time.