Sioux Falls, SD
For working parents seeking child care, a new construction project in southeast Sioux Falls could be the answer to their prayers.
The Lutheran congregation is branching-out into the business of day care.
Good Shepherd Lutheran is breaking down barriers to day care availability in south Sioux Falls even as it builds up a 12,000 square foot addition to the church.
"I think, wow! That's a big building," Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Pastor Jonathan Werre said.
The church hopes to build a solid foundation of faith for the children who enroll in the day care starting next year.
"Parents can find a day care anywhere. But this one we're also going to offer them the learning about Jesus Christ through the word of God," Werre said.
The builders hope to have the day care fully-enclosed by wintertime. After that, many church members will help with the interior work to save money on construction costs.
"We have quite a few skilled people and then you've got some people like myself. I'm not very skilled at things, but I can paint, I can do something like that," Werre said.
Enrollment is really hopping at child care centers run by Youth Enrichment Services.
"At our 57th and Western center, we have a year-long wait for parents to get it. We have babies literally on the list a year in advance," Youth Enrichment Services CEO Karen Fogas said.
Youth Enrichment Services welcomes the addition of Good Shepard Lutheran to the child care mix.
"Competition is a good thing. It keeps everybody on their toes and it keeps everybody thinking about how best to serve that family," Fogas said.
And in a rapidly growing neighborhood teeming with young families, it's likely many parents in pursuit of day care will be flocking to Good Shepherd.
The church day care can take up to 100 children. Enrollment is open to non-church members as well as members. The day care will employ up to forty people.
The congregation has so far raised $350,000 for the $1.2 million project.