A decision came at the June 19 Niobrara County School District (NCSD) School Board Meeting to move forward with providing a daycare service to employees. “The daycare will be primarily funded through employee contributions as a co-op. The district is willing to fund up to, but not to exceed $45,000 per year in the way of a fringe benefit for employees. Our hope is that this will aide in attracting and retaining high quality teachers” states school Superintendent Aaron Carr. For Carr, the daycare has been a goal of his since his first year in Lusk, “When we learned that one of our longtime daycare providers in the community announced her retirement, we thought this would be an opportune time to add the daycare. This is a support system for our employees that I have wanted for some time”.
To begin moving forward with preparations for the daycare—with an intended date of operation starting with the beginning of school—Carr adds there is still a list of hurdles to get over, including establishing a daycare location, time of operation, employee fee, purchasing of equipment, and the hiring of staff. Staff hiring will be done by the teachers utilizing the facility. Two possible candidates will be interviewed next week.
On June 26, a meeting was held for those with interest in the facility to meet and discuss details in moving forward. While the school board has agreed to fund the project up to $45,000.00 a year, another stipulation is keeping the start-up cost at $20,000.00 or less, which Carr agrees is more than do-able. Staff that intend to send their children to the daycare will be required to sign a “memorandum of understanding” that they will use the daycare for the entire year. While the daycare will be used only for NCSD employees, Carr said there has been some conversation as to allowing substitute teachers to use the facility on days they are subbing, though the details have not yet been worked out.
As a feasibility study is conducted and more plans are finalized, the board will make the ultimate decision on the daycare.