Franciscan Health Rensselaer is partnering with Appleseed Childhood Education to address a shortage of licensed childcare providers in Jasper County. The Mishawaka-based health system says it is leasing a building on its Rensselaer hospital campus to the nonprofit, which will use it to open a licensed early learning center.
Design work and renovations are currently underway. When complete, Franciscan Health says the facility will meet state licensing requirements to provide daytime childcare for about 70 children.
With only one other childcare facility in the area, Franciscan Health says the new center will essentially double the number of available seats for infants, toddlers and preschool-age children.
“Early child care is essential to our community and crucial to local workforce,” said Carlos Vasquez, vice president and chief operating officer of Franciscan Health Rensselaer. “Franciscan Health Rensselaer is proud to partner with Appleseed Childhood Education to make this possible.”
The learning center will be operated by Lafayette-based nonprofit Right Steps Child Development Centers.
“Thanks to our new partner, Franciscan Health Rensselaer, our community is another very big step closer to having a financially sustainable high-quality licensed early childhood education center for our kids and families,” said Adam Alson, president of Appleseed.
The center is expected to open later this year.