Knowing childcare is in demand, husband and wife Kimberly and Justin Walker decided to expand their in home daycare business to a larger building.
In March, the couple signed a lease for the building in the city’s industrial park at 1111 Industrial Street in Reedsburg to start Walker Family Daycare. The building was purchased Aug. 1, said Kimberly Walker. The Reedsburg Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Oct. 18 and the daycare center held an open house Oct. 19.
The daycare’s hours are from 6 a.m. to 11:15 p.m., so those who work second shift can have childcare access. Regular hours are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., she said. The Walker’s said they want to expand to a 24 hour day care service to provide child care options to those working third shift.
The day care currently has 62 children and has a maximum capacity of 197 based on age, Kimberly Walker said. Eleven staff members work at the building including one custodian, teachers and assistants.
The day care currently has children from not only the Reedsburg area but also Spring Green, La Valle, Baraboo, Richland Center, Mauston and Wonewoc, they said. The business received $500 towards its mortgage for one year as a part of the city’s incubator program, which assists first year businesses.
The Walker’s started an in-home day care service in their Reedsburg home three and a half years ago and quickly realized they had to turn away those requesting day care services because of laws stating the maximum capacity for an in-home childcare businesses is eight children, Kimberly Walker said.
When the building in Reedsburg’s Industrial Park became available for sale, the Walker’s jumped at the chance to expand.
“We decided we wanted to help the town, help more people, more families and take over (the building),” Kimberly Walker said.
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Both said they reached out to local businesses within the industrial park for an idea of the level of demand for childcare. City Planner/Building Inspector Brian Duvalle said he wasn’t aware of any studies the city’s conducted on childcare needs, but he’s heard businesses within the industrial park say it can be an issue in recruiting and attracting employees.
Kimberly Walker said the day care center takes children from six-weeks-old infants until 11-years-old. According to Walker Family Daycare’s website services offered include learning through play, morning and afternoon snack and outdoor playtime. State assistance is accepted and children can be picked up by school bus before and dropped off after school hours, she said.
Kimberly Walker said bedding and sleeping materials are provided at the facility. Nighttime care starts after 6 p.m. and parents must provide children their own dinner, she said.
Kimberly Walker said what separates the day care from others is its family atmosphere, something it strives for with building relationships between the children, staff and parents. Staff has to go through several rounds of background checks at the state and federal level and complete training in certification’s like CPR/AED, Kimberly Walker said.
“We work really hard to strive to be a family that’s our motto,” she said.
Anyone looking for more information or wants to register their child can call Kimberly Walker at 608-897-6756, visit their website www.walkerfamilydaycare.com or stop by the daycare.