LEXINGTON — While the First United Methodist Church has been working to prepare their basement space for a child care center, Learning Adventures Child Care has been equally hard at work preparing to move into the space.
In August 2019, the FUMC received the go-ahead by the Lexington city council to open up a daycare center in their basement in an effort to address the child care space shortage in the community.
While the center will be in the FUMC and use their space, the center itself will be run by Learning Adventures Child Care, a child care business operated by Casey Madsen. Learning Adventures is currently operating a center in the Methodist Church in Gothenburg.
Madsen’s assistant director, Haleigh Rangel, will be the director of the child care center in the FUMC.
Rangel said they have painted several of the rooms and are waiting on the church to install cabinets and flooring.
Learning Adventures has also opened up donations from their Gothenburg parents, the donations will go toward the purchase toys for the Lexington location.
Rangel said they have also been busy putting together parent and employee packets, as well as the handbook.
Learning Adventures will begin the hiring process next week for the Lexington location. They are hiring for five full time teachers and two part time positions.
Teacher candidates are required to have their high school diploma or a GED and have previous experience working with children.
“We are looking for someone who is passionate about children,” Rangel said, “It is also a learning center, it’s a learning process, we are helping these children to develop into who they are going to be.”
The part time assistants also need a high school diploma/GED and prior work with children. Rangel said they are looking for an opener and closer.
Children to teacher ratios will follow as, two teachers per eight babies in their infant room, two teachers per 12 toddlers, one teacher per 10 preschoolers and one teacher per 12 prekindergarten children.
The opening date for the FUMC center is slated for March 30. Once preparations by the church have been completed, Rangel will start to set up the rooms during the month of February.
The location will be licensed for 85 children, but FUMC church council members said they will initially take on around 50. Rangel said already there are 18 children on the waiting list.
Rangel will begin contacting the families on the waiting list for final discussions before the center opens.
Lexington at the moment, has no child care centers and is only served by in-home daycares. When the FUMC center opens, it will be the largest in the community.