Michelle, Margeson, Ignite Emporia Director

What’s happening with childcare in Emporia? We’re glad you asked.

Ignite Emporia, an initiative of the Emporia Chamber of Commerce, closed on the former Maynard school building on Friday, December 15, 2023. The facility will house the newly created Little Lyons Childcare, opening later this year.

A board of directors is being assembled for Little Lyons Childcare, LLC, and will be announced when all positions are filled. The Director position will also soon be posted, as well.

Little Lyons Childcare will move forward under five plan phases:

  1. Three infant toddler rooms for traditional daycare (and possibly move-in day extended morning and evening hours). This also includes the completion of a new infant toddler playground. The goal is to have this completed in the summer of 2024.
  2. Begin construction on the south part of the building in order to meet the requirements for 24-hour childcare. Renovations should commence in late summer or early fall of 2024.
  3. Relocate existing classrooms to the renovated northside when renovations are completed
  4. Complete renovations on the south side of the building, including classrooms, office space, kitchen expansion, nurses offices, and therapy spaces.
  5. Fully operational and transitioned into 24-hour childcare, along with operating and wellness, partnerships, and education opportunities for our community

Many things will be happening over the next six months toward reaching our first goal of opening three classrooms of traditional daycare, including a walk-through with the project architect and the fire marshal to finalize plans for renovation and plan phases. All plans will be vetted to follow childcare licensing regulations. The project will be sent out for bid when this scope is completed.

Work now commences on creating the space for our first three classrooms. This includes:

  • Inventory will be done of all things in the building.
  • Kitchen appliances will be purchased and installed.
  • Cleaning, painting, and a general freshening up will occur.
  • Hire LCC Director.
  • Purchase furniture, toys, and all other items needed to fill our Little Lyons classrooms.
  • Hire three lead teachers and support staff.
  • Create the application process for parents seeking childcare.
  • Finalize partnerships with local businesses for participation in filling these childcare slots.

Emporia Coalition for Childcare, along with Ignite Emporia, continues to pursue other grant opportunities for operations, cost, unforeseen, construction costs, other improvements, and funding for our Little Lyons Childcare Endowment Fund.

The fund was recently awarded $20,000 towards the start of this endowment fund from the Sadie Jones Fund. The Trussler Foundation also awarded Little Lyons Childcare with a $60,000 grant to make the infant toddler playground possible. This undertaking will be large; the final estimated need is seven to ten million held in this fund to assist all Lyon County childcare providers and bridge the gap between what quality care actually costs and what Emporia families can afford.

It will be a very busy 2024 for Emporia in the childcare world, and we are very thankful for our community support.

Questions? Contact Michelle Margeson, Ignite Emporia Director, at 620-342-1600