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Letter to the editor: Woman wants to share dream of new care facility

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By The Staff

In college, I was asked to write an essay about what I would do if I won the lottery and the paper turned out to be more of a business idea that is still my dream today.

My long-term vision is for Owen County to have a daycare center adjoining an assisted living facility where the children and the elderly of our community will have access to the best-possible care.

My short-term  goal is to partner with caregivers who currently provide childcare services in their homes to establish a state of the art daycare cooperative.

Most of you are aware that there is only one childcare facility in Owenton and I would estimate that about 160 kids would be its maximum capacity.

In 2008, Owen County had an estimated population of 2,000 children under the age of 12 and 65 percent of those are thought to need childcare (that leaves over 1,000 kids in our county in need of daycare). Marketdata Enterprises valued the childcare industry at nearly $40 billion in 2007 and estimates that it will grow by 9.2 percent annually. There is an obvious need for more childcare in our community. There are currently 12 child care providers that I know of who currently operate a childcare business in their home. These are women who have a God-given gift to love on children, and I admire each of them more than words could ever express.

Let me be clear in saying that I do not wish to compete with the current day-care facility nor the in-home providers. I am suggesting a business opportunity for the current in-home providers to partner/invest/come together to establish a facility that will provide reliable and affordable childcare and capitalize on the talent and passion already evident in the caregivers who help raise our children every day in their own homes.

Although there is a certain amount of convenience in providing in-home care, I believe it has to be one of the hardest jobs there is. Joining together would allow the caregivers to receive a salary and paid time off along with support from colleagues in the event that personal issues arise.

If the current in-home providers are not on board with the plan, I will not move forward. It truly takes a village to raise a child, and I’m sure that you are well aware of the immeasurable impact that childcare providers have on the youth of our community.

I believe that we have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the children and the community will reap short- and long-term benefits from this endeavor.

I have a rough business plan that details some of the estimated costs and requirements from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Based on the figures I’ve found so far, this can easily be a profitable business and excellent investment. I’ve even trademarked the name “Circle of Life” in hopes that we can someday sell franchises for the name and our expertise in this successful business.  

First and foremost I am asking for your prayers in this endeavor. I would also appreciate any feedback/support that you can offer. If you are currently a home care provider who may be interested in learning more about this partnership, please contact me and I will be happy to meet with you. We already have a long list of children who are interested in enrollment, volunteers who are interested in providing services and activities, and caregivers who are interested in employment; however, I do not want to leave anyone out and would like to extend this opportunity for everyone to contribute and benefit.

 

Shanna Marsh

Owen County