Kewaunee School District expands child care options

KEWAUNEE, Wis. — When the children in the 3K program at the Lighthouse Learning Center make enough good choices together, they are rewarded with a pajama day.

What you need to know

  • The Kewaunee School District launched its Lighthouse Learning Center at the beginning of the current school year
  • It is designed to help meet a need in the community for childcare
  • Programs focus on children from 3K to fourth grade

“Sometimes we do it for birthdays or different kinds of celebrations, but today it’s because they did such a great job when they were three,” said 3K teacher Marissa Hahn.

The Kewaunee School District launched the learning center at the beginning of the school year with the goal of helping district students and parents find childcare solutions. It’s something many smaller communities around the state face.

The learning center includes programming for children from three years old to kindergarten age. Before and after school programs for students from 3K to fourth grade are also available.

(Spectrum News 1/Nathan Phelps)

“You think school and you think academically, academically, academically. But that’s not what I’m here for at all. For the three-year-olds here, it’s very play-based,” Hahn said. “I would say in general, a third of our program, the 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. time frame, is some kind of play.”

She said it’s ultimately about making friends and building social skills.

Superintendent Scott Fritz said the launch of the program was moved up due to an identified need in the community for more childcare options.

“We weren’t necessarily trying to compete with anyone else in the community, but we realized there was a greater need than our community could provide our children for early childhood and that wrap-around care,” he said.

The programs can also help keep or attract people to live and work in Kewaunee.

“My hope is that this is a benefit to our families and makes it easier for them instead of trying to find these resources outside, whether it’s Green Bay, Denmark, wherever,” Fritz said. “Maybe they’ll have less stress on their plate knowing they can come here, drop their kids off at a reasonable time before school and get to work on time, or finish work and pick them up here. “

(Spectrum News 1/Nathan Phelps)

Costs for the 3K program and the morning and after-school programs vary by participation. They are open to students enrolled in the district.

Hahn grew up in Kewaunee. She said she is proud to see the district providing these services in the community.

“I’m exhausted every day, but it’s the best kind of exhaustion,” she said. “I get to play with these wonderful kids every day and laugh and smile with them when they tell me goofy things.”

More information about the programs can be found here.

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