Appleseed Childhood Education is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that operates to support the creation, facilitation, and enhancement of education opportunities for children in and around Jasper County, Indiana, from birth through high school.
Lance Strange believes that everyone in Jasper County should have access to high-quality early childhood education (ECE). Read below how his experience with the closing of Jasper County Youth Center and the creation of Families of JCYC made it evident that an organization like Appleseed Childhood Education is something that our community needs.
A note from an ECE advocate: Lance Strange
Several years ago, when my 3 children were attending the Jasper County Youth Center (JCYC) and it was announced that they would be closing the facility for operation, it would have been much easier to enroll our children across town at the other child care center operating in Rensselaer at the time.
But what about the families that would not have been able to do the same because of full enrollment? They deserved the same high-quality care they had been receiving too. The only solution was to find a way to keep the center open and Families of JCYC was formed.
We were told by more than I could count that there was no way we would be able to pull it off financially, let alone fast enough to not have a lapse in care for the children and their families. We successfully kept the center alive and were able to provide early childhood education for five years. The board of community members that managed the center learned a lot in those five years.
Adam, Carlee and I spoke after the announcement of the closing of Families of JCYC and a few times over the last few years. I have shared what I learned from managing and operating Families of JCYC. They have taken that information, formed Appleseed Childhood Education, and in my opinion, have made all the appropriate measures for a successful early child care center to serve our community for many years to come!
High-quality child care is important for Jasper County because there is a desperate need for working parents and families to have a safe and reliable provider for the daily care of their children. Our local economy cannot thrive if we are unable to attract and retain young, working families.
Investing in high-quality child care is investing in the growth and future of our community. High-quality childhood education lays the foundation for future education, social-emotional growth, and citizenship.
The first few years in a child’s life are the most critical and crucial for academic and social-emotional development. The strength of our community relies on the development of our youth. I hope the community sees that Appleseed is not just a “daycare center”.
Appleseed is a place for the children of the community to develop mentally, socially, and emotionally. At a very young age, children learn a structured environment and how to work as a team with their young peers. Appleseed should be better understood as a private school for the ages of 6 weeks through 5 years of age!
I personally know the difficult decisions and challenging emotions parents face when finding care for their children, particularly in a rural area with few options. Fortunately, our children received excellent care as infants until the time they were ready for Kindergarten.
I am excited that the future children of the community will have the same opportunity for quality care, growth, and development with Appleseed Childhood Education. I am also excited for young families who will once again have child care options and the peace of mind that comes with being able to leave your children in capable and compassionate hands.
While the closing of JCYC was a loss to our community and all who needed access to childcare, ACE has been able to learn more about how to prepare an organization and center that is built to last & nurture children in our community for the long term.