The Vinton Kiwanis Club welcomed the new owners of Creative Kids Child Care to their meeting last week to talk about their upcoming expansion.
Kelsey Fish began the presentation. A teacher for 10 years in the Shellsburg Elementary School, Fish had taught kindergarten and third grade students. She is a resident of Shellsburg, a Vinton-Shellsburg graduate, and holds a Master's Degree in Principalship from UNI and is also a Grant Wood Induction Coach. Scottie her husband owns Roy's Grocery Store in Shellsburg and the couple have two children, Carver and Ava.
Meredith Zuspan, of Vinton, is also an owner of Creative Kids Child Care. She too is a teacher a teacher who taught at Tilford and is currently at Shellsburg Elementary as a Reading Interventionalist. Along with her 15 years of teaching experience, she also holds a Master's Degree in the Reading Specialist Program from Morningside. She's married to her husband Aaron who is also a high school teacher and coach. the couple also have a daughter Claire.
The two shared the mission of Creative Kids Child Care which is to provide high-quality programming at an affordable rate. The statement says that they, "Value a respectful, safe, all-inclusive environment and work to build structures to support all children. We facilitate social and educational opportunities that produce fun, lasting memories. We create such an atmosphere by having strong collaboration between families. our staff, the community, and Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District."
Zuspan shared that her daughter was part of the program and knew the importance of having it in the community. When the former owner decided to sell the business, the two collaborated to keep the program going from about March until June of last year they thought as just a part-time thing. In just a little over a year from that time, the two will be leaving their full time teaching positions and moving into Creative Kids full-time.
This move will allow the two to stay in touch with the school district as well as the students that they've taught. The women have three different programs as part of Creative Kids.
With three different programs, the business will cover all of a family's needs. The "Before and After School" program currently has 46 students in the program, with students from both Shellsburg and Tilford. The program serves children from Kindergarten through 5th Grade. They provide care during early dismissals, late startes and inclement weather days.
Last year there were 62 students enrolled in the "School Age Summer" program. The program hosts children from Vinton, Atkins, Palo, Newhall and Shellsburg. This program focuses on structure, positive interactions and fun. They spent four days off-site and have one field trip each week, as well as three pool or park days. The program will be coming to Vinton in June this year to Tilford.
The 2024-25 school year will bring the "Preschool Wrap Around" program serving three and four year olds in both Vinton and Shellburg. The program will collaborate with the Tiny Vikes program. Starting at 6:00 a.m. and can stay as late as 6:00 p.m. When there isn't school on Fridays, kids can also stay.
Having seen the need for child care over the years, the two hope that this will help relieve some of that need for families.
The business has partnerships with area businesses including the Vinton Pool, Skate Center and Rec Center, the Palace Theatre, Cranky Hank's Pizza, and the Shellsburg Library.
After traveling to various destinations in the state, the survey from the kids came back that their favorite place to visit was...Cranky Hank's Pizza.
While the current plans are established, the two have plans for the future. They hope to have even more collaboration with the school and perhaps coordinate transportation to and from the Vinton-Shellsburg sports camps, another need that came up in discussion with parents. They also hope to find more area speakers, and field trips, as well as partner with the Vinton Public Library.
To increase the quality of this service, they will be participating in IQ4K which is a program through the state that helps providers get feedback, resources, and support from the state. They will also be continuing training for the staff. With the new service, the two are hoping that it will benefit the community will benefit in other ways one being providing more jobs.
To find out more about the program, visit their Facebook page by clicking HERE.
Congratulations to Kelsey and Meredith on this new adventure!