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Our History

 

On October 27, 1976, Articles of Incorporation were signed which marked the beginning of Black River Child Care Center. The Center, governed by a nine member Board of Directors, was first located in the former St. John’s Lutheran Church building on Main Street, next to the old Carnegie Public Library. The Center was licensed through the State of Wisconsin to serve 20 children from ages 2 - 6.

 

In 1978, the church building was put up for sale. The Center then moved its location to the Methodist Church’s Parish Education Building and enrollment increased to 32 children.

 

In 1986, the Center was asked to relocate. A Building Committee was formed to research options. It was decided that it was time to build our own facility. A building site was chosen, located west of Black River Memorial Hospital, on North Eighth Street. The building size was 4,580 sq. ft. and was licensed for 70 children, ages 2-12. A major fundraising campaign was launched to help finance the project, and many donations were received from the community. The building was dedicated on June 28, 1987.

 

In the fall of 1992, because of interest in care for school age children, an After School Program was started. Since space was not available at the Center, space was rented in the gymnasium of the Forrest Street School. This program still operates and is licensed to care for 50 school age children from ages 5-11. Children from Third Street and Gebhardt Schools are bused to this site. The Center also provides care to school agers on before school late start days and off school days at the Main Site.

 

In 1994, increased enrollment demands led to an addition to the Center. The addition allowed the Center to increase licensing capacity from 70 to 89 children per day, and added an additional 1,976 sq. ft. to the building.

 

In 2000 the Center began a “Back Up Care “Program. Back Up Care is a program offered on a space available basis for parents who periodically need care for their child to supplement, rather than replace, their regular child care arrangements.

 

In 1999 the Center formed a partnership with Western Dairyland Head Start. Head Start provides additional educational opportunities for both the parents enrolled in the program and Center staff. Due to lack of federal funding, the Head Start program ended in June, 2013.

 

In the fall of 2007, the Center collaborated with the Black River Falls School District to be a site for the district’s 4-K program. This is a part day program, and children are able to receive wrap around care before and after the 4-K program. Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the 4K programming changed from a 4 day week, part day program, to a Tuesday/Thursday full day program. The children are still able to come before and after school on 4K days. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are also open for enrollment.

 

In the spring of 2008, the Center purchased a house that was located to the south of its property. The house was eventually taken down. This property will be for future expansion of Black River Child Care Center.

 

In 2011, the Center became a participant in the State of Wisconsin’s newly formed Young Star Program.

 

In September, 2013, the Center opened a one year old classroom. The Center changed its licensing capacity to serve 80 children per day, ages 1-12.

In September, 2016, the Center opened an Infant Classroom. The center changed its licensing capacity to serve 71 children per day, ages 6 weeks-12. In order to accomodate the space for the Infant Room the center had to discontinue the partnership with the Black River Falls School Distrtict in offering an off-site 4K program. All 4K students are now bussed to their appropriate 4K program.