Amarillo, TEXAS (KVII) — The City of Perryton has had a daycare shortage since its only licensed day care facility in the city closed its doors last August.
Since then, Perryton Independent School District and its partners have explored the idea of a district-owned daycare facility. This loss left a lot of parents and teachers without a source of support to take care of their kids. However, the board has already indicated they want to go forward with the project.
Third grade teacher at James L. Wright Elementary School, Lacey Roberson’s passion is to teach. She is pregnant with baby Reed, but also has a 3 and a 6-year-old.
“Whenever I found out that I was pregnant, I was immediately nervous that I wouldn’t have anywhere for the baby to go and I would have to be forced to be a stay-at-home mom,” said Roberson.
But, PISD’s Superintendent Tim Little said Ochiltree General Hospital saw the same dilemma for their employees and proposed a partnership.
“It became clear that somebody was going to have to step up and find a way to provide daycare in Perryton--and the more we talked, the more it became clear the school district was in the best position to do that,” said Little.
The district turned to the Texas Workforce Commission for start-up funding and the First Christian Church, which owns the building where the Beehive Daycare center was located. The church agreed to lease it to the district. All-in-all, PISD will be paying the daycare's day-to-day operations and PISD employees will staff it.
According to Little, there will be room for about 100 kids.
“Between the school district and the hospital—that’s two of the largest employers in the community, so that alone takes care of the biggest portion of the need,” said Director of Communications and Safety at Perryton ISD, Darin Clark.
Little says it is a win-win for the entire community.
“You know-- Monday through Friday- anytime the school district is open-- anytime I’m expected to work, I’ll have somewhere for the baby to stay and I feel peace of mind” said Roberson.
In the next few weeks, the board will make the grand announcement and Little says minor changes will be made to the building, but they are optimistic it will be done by August of this year.