Foundation supports quality child care in Manchester

Over the last five years, Iowa has lost 37% of its child care providers. That loss is reflected in Delaware County, where many people are determined to keep Community Childcare of Manchester operating for generations to come. Driven by this desire, organization board and staff members, parents, grandparents, businesses and community members gave as part of a campaign to support a new endowment fund that will pay out annually, forever, to support its needs.  

Community Childcare is a nonprofit that operates two centers: Carousel Child Care Center and StoryLand ChildCare. Between the two, a staff of about 40 rolled up their sleeves to meet increased health and safety standards and continue serving families during the pandemic – giving parents peace of mind and children a safe place to go during an uncertain time. 

Dependable, quality care is critical to a child’s development, and it’s also critical to local economies.  

“It’s hard to imagine what our 100 families would do if we didn’t have these centers,” says Deann McDonald, parent and Community Childcare board member. “Reliable, quality care allows parents to go to work without worry. Our centers are always open; staff are always there and are experts in their field. I absolutely admire and honor that.” 

The successful endowment campaign began in August 2019. Director Vicki Ries, along with parents like McDonald and Joni Puffett, sent letters, had one-on-one conversations and promoted the campaign on social media and in the news. Kids got involved with a spare change competition matched by a local donor. 

Above all, Ries and her team shared their deep appreciation for the staff and elevated the importance of maintaining the organization so their children would someday be able to bring their children to Carousel or StoryLand.

By January 2020, the compelling story had inspired $7,500 in donations. The Foundation for the Future of Delaware County, which hosts Community Childcare’s endowment fund, contributed $2,500 with a Seeds for Success grant, allowing the organization to reach its $10,000 goal in just six months. 

“Strengthening families is our focus,” says Nancy Preussner, the Foundation’s donor connections coordinator. “We assist families in need by making grants to nonprofits working on issues like mental health, education or child care. We want Delaware County to be a place for all families to thrive.”

Contact Preussner to join these efforts. Future generations are depending on it.