New Childcare Center

Childcare Expansion In Thief River Falls, Minnesota

Discovery Place, a non-profit childcare center in Thief River Falls, announced a partnership with Valley Assisted Living to establish a new childcare facility within a 17,728 square foot wing of the Valley Home Assisted Living building located at 623 South Highway 32 in Thief River Falls with space for 156 children and varying hours of operation.

According to the Advance Thief River Childcare Collaborative taskforce with data from First Children’s Finance, Thief River Falls is currently short 300 daycare spots.

Valley Assisted Living

The Valley Assisted Living community has provided services to the Thief River Falls area for over six decades and is excited to expand the use of the building to include child care, along with continuing to support the area’s senior population. Valley Assisted Living will be leasing a wing of the facility to Discovery Place to operate the childcare center, expanding their current operation on Nora Street in Thief River Falls. The Discovery Place Early Learning Center is a Parent Aware Rated, non-profit childcare center that has been operating since 1971.

Alleviating Childcare Challenges

“We hope adding a new childcare center will alleviate childcare challenges faced by working parents and provide a supportive, nurturing environment for their children,” said Chelsea Moeller, director at Discovery Place.

Plans are still being finalized, but the partners hope to have the new childcare center licensed and open by late 2024.

Intergenerational Benefits

“We are thrilled for the opportunity for our residents to experience the intergenerational benefits of having children in our facility,” said Jessica Corneillie, administrator at Valley Assisted Living. “The residents and children will have separated spaces, but there are opportunities for collaborating with reading programs, music programs, etc. Studies show that connections between children and seniors are a true ‘win-win.’ We look forward to this collaboration and the benefits to both the Valley Assisted Living community and the Thief River Falls community.”

DigiKey to be Corporate Sponsor

DigiKey, a cutting-edge commerce distributor of electronic components and automation products, will be a corporate sponsor of the project, assisting with the building renovation starting in spring 2024. There will be additional corporate sponsorships available throughout the project.

“We’re excited to collaborate with both Discovery Place and Valley Assisted Living to create an innovative solution to providing desperately needed childcare. With the addition of the new childcare center, we are not just filling the need for childcare, but also fostering a brighter future for families in our community,” said Mark Borseth, director, corporate facilities at DigiKey.

Childcare Seats Created

For more information on Discovery Place Childcare Center, visit their Facebook page.

Governor Walz Announces New $316 Million Program to Boost Pay for Childcare

Governor Tim Walz visited Thief River Falls on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, announcing Great Start Compensation payments for childcare providers.

Profiles in Childcare: D’Anne Johnson

Michelle Landsverk, Executive Director of Advance Thief River, and lead for the Advance TRF Childcare Collaborative, recently had the opportunity to chat with D’Anne Johnson, Director of Head Start for Inter-County Community Council. D’Anne says that…

Profiles in Childcare: Liz Gerhart

D’Anne Johnson, Head Start Director for Inter-County Community Council and member of the Advance TRF Childcare Collaborative, recently had the opportunity to talk to Liz Gerhart about childcare in Pennington County. Liz is the Pennington County Supervisor for Child Protection Mental Health Services and childcare licensing.

Childcare Provider Grants Awarded

Advance Thief River awarded funding to seven childcare providers this week, totaling $15,000. Providers receiving funding included Madyson Anderson, Kinley Gullikson, RaChelle Donaldson, Vickie Ellefson, Amber Knott, St. Bernard’s School, and ISD 564.

Childcare Grants Available

Advance Thief River has been awarded $15,000 in grant funding from First Childrens Finance. Startup childcare providers or existing providers adding slots are invited to apply.

Profiles in Childcare: Brittany Babcock

Advance TRF Childcare Collaborative member, Missy Okeson, recently had the opportunity to interview Brittany Babcock, Workforce Advisor Specialist with Empower to Educate.

Profiles in Childcare: Natasha Stengrim

Missy Okeson, member of the Advance TRF Childcare Collaborative, recently had the opportunity to interview Natasha Stengrim, one of Minnesota’s new childcare WayFinders.

Profiles in Childcare: Tabi Steinmetz

Advance TRF Childcare Collaborative member, Michelle Landsverk, recently had the opportunity to interview Tabi Steinmetz, who administers childcare finance programs at Northwest Minnesota Foundation.

Special Family Childcare

Special Family Childcare falls under new regulations that allow up to four licensed childcare providers at the same location. Employers, church-based programs, and nonprofits can provide commercial space for up to four licensed providers.

Profiles in Childcare: Michele Hutchinson

Advance TRF Childcare Collaborative member, Michelle Landsverk, recently had the opportunity to interview Michele Hutchinson, Business Development Specialist with First Children’s Finance.

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