Lyon brings childcare solution to City of Greensburg council with grant money in hand

Kahrie Stegman
Kiowa County Signal
The Haviland Fitness Center has become a point of interest for those working to solve a childcare crisis in Kiowa County. It could be the potential site for a daycare facility.

Childcare is a community need that has become one of the significant needs over the last couple of years, so Economic Development Director Julie Lyon is pursuing a solution with passion. At the Greensburg City Council Meeting on November 15th, Lyon presented an update on her solution.

According to Lyon, childcare is the foremost economic development driver right now. Some parents are struggling to work because of the lack of childcare in the area, and other parents are having to drive their kids from Greensburg to Pratt for childcare, only to return to work in Greensburg. To combat this issue, Lyon is working on opening a childcare center in the Haviland Fitness Center, which she said is an underutilized building that would be fit for a daycare. She has received $9,000 in grants to get the building up-to-code to be licensed. So far, this project has not used any taxpayer dollars because of the grant money, and the daycare will be run independently rather than by the Haviland Grade School.

Lyon announced three informational meetings to focus on the childcare issue - one which has already passed. The next meeting will be Tuesday, November 23 at the Haviland Fitness Center at 7 p.m., and another will be Monday, November 30 in Mullinville City Hall at 7 p.m. These meetings are for anyone interested in being a childcare provider, anyone in need of a provider, or anyone curious about the project. It will be an open discussion where Lyon is hoping to assess the specific childcare needs of the community and answer questions.

Through her research, Lyon said she has found that most people do not want to hold a daycare in their homes, and for good reason.

“Without the work-life balance, it’s easy to get burned out,” Lyon said.

Lyon is looking for people who are willing to get licensed and work at the daycare. Anyone with questions or inquiries may contact Julie Lyon by phone at (620) 474-9537 or by email at livekiowacountyks@gmail.com.

In other business at the recent Greensburg city meeting, council members:

* discussed infrastructure upgrades for the Greensburg Municipal Airport. A $150,000 KDOT Cost Share Grant was awarded to be used for the project. There was discussion about a timeline, but nothing is set in stone yet.

* considered bank employee sick leave policies and city employee cost of living adjustments.

* approved a four-year term for Steve Taylor to serve on the Greensburg Housing Authority.

A video of the full meeting can be found on the City of Greensburg, Kansas Facebook page.