Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
MT. PLEASANT — The New London Community Childcare Center has been in operation since 2005 and has been at the building they currently inhabit since 2007. With a 14-year-old building comes some major repair work that needs to be done, including painting, new toys, new carpet, new air conditioning and furnace units.
This is what the New London Community Childcare Center Director Michelle Wilka is hoping to use American Rescue Plan Act money from the Henry County Board of Supervisors to accomplish.
“Everything that you see here is what’s been here for 14 years. One of my goals coming on here is to get us in the financial situation to keep up with the times,” Wilka said. “You see businesses revamping every seven years, we are double that now.”
According to requests from the Mt. Pleasant and New London child care centers to the county supervisors, both organizations could be getting up to $250,000 dollars each.
This is a large influx of money for the startup Mt. Pleasant Childcare Center and to improve the New London center.
The New London center has been around along time serving families from all around Henry County from townships as far away as Wayland.
The center has 200 kids enrolled with a daily attendance of 80 to 100 kids ages infant to 5 years old.
Serving that many kids has brought a draw of people to the community and the school system which are the center of New London’s economy. With kids from Wayland to Yarmouth attending the child care center and enrolling in the preschool at Clark Elementary.
“We love it we serve so many families from so many different communities,” Wilka said. “It helps bring people into our community and our economy, I love that we have that diversity.”
With curriculum in every classroom the staff are like gold to Wilka, who needs her staff to keep the center running smoothly and with a bit of a financial pick-me-up with the funds Wilka hopes be able to pay her staff better.
Staff retention has been an issue all around the country in one of the largest labor debates in the countries history. Therefore, Wilka is worried about paying her staff what they are worth to retain them. With the funds Wilka will be able to do so.