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LCSD1 Childcare Center

School District Makes Good on Mission
Childcare Center at Triumph High School

Anna Merrell, the director of the Childcare Center for LCSD1, has been working with the children of students in the district for the past 14 years. She began her tenure when the center opened at Triumph High School’s new building in 2009. According to Merrell, any student in the district can take advantage of the program regardless of what LCSD1 school the student attends. The district requires parents to spend one class period a day with their child bonding and taking care of them. The parent(s) also have some activities such as reading to the child to complete as part of the program too.

Merrell said that this year the program is working with about five children per day. She recalled when the program first opened, it served upwards of 14 children every day and had two rooms open. She went on to explain how the Covid-19 Pandemic severely affected the program and suggested that it is just now beginning to build numbers back up to pre-pandemic levels.

The program provides busing and essentials like diapers, wipes, and food to parents and children. Merrell shared, “We’re on a federally-funded food program where I buy everything food-wise the babies and toddlers need.” Cheyenne Hills Church has donated diapers and wipes so the babies have what they need in that regard as well.

An LCSD student brings her baby to the center every morning before going in to school. She is very grateful for the program and enthusiastically supports the program saying, “They take very good care…the program here is so good. Like, I couldn’t give it more props.” Additionally, she shared that, “I’m in the daycare for my first hour…I find it really great because I get to see him [her son] in the mornings and do everything I normally do with him in the mornings without breaking my routine.” This student mentioned that her plan had been to drop out, but when she found out, at four months pregnant, that she could go to Triumph High and could use the childcare facility there, she decided to enroll and is doing very well in her classes. She currently is on track to earn the credits she needs to graduate. She reiterated several times how beneficial it was to be able to have free childcare and be able to get her education and interact with her child on a daily basis.

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Part of the LCSD 1 mission statement refers to inspiring students to become lifelong learners and responsible, productive citizens. The Childcare Center provided by the district is a fantastic tool for making that mission a reality. Thanks to Anna Merrell, all the staff at the childcare center, and Triumph High School, and young parents like student interviewed for this article—this program is a success.

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