Early Childhood Alliance Pop Up Center

The State of Indiana is encouraging communities to find ways to provide essential medical personnel with much needed childcare options during the COVID-19 crisis. In response to this call to action, and after receiving a request from a local healthcare system, Kosciusko County’s Child Care and Early Learning Coalition, also known as LaunchPad, has partnered with other organizations to provide a solution to meet this need in our community.

On Monday, April 27, an Early Childhood Alliance Pop-Up Center will be opening at Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church. The Pop-up Center will be open Monday-Friday from 6:00 am-8:30 pm. This Center will provide Kosciusko County essential healthcare workers with a free, temporary childcare option. Hours will be flexible according to the needs of essential healthcare workers.

The Pop-up Center in Winona Lake will welcome up to 50 children of essential healthcare workers in Kosciusko County. The Center will follow the CDC and state social distancing guidelines and have a strict sanitation schedule. The children will be in groups of no more than 6-10, and the older children will have their own desks. Children and staff will be required to have their temperatures taken each morning before they enter the building.

Sherry Searles, the Director of LaunchPad, will be the Director of the Pop-up Center, and Rachel Hardy, the Director of Childcare and Inclusive Programming at Parkview Warsaw YMCA, will be the Assistant Director. Staffing the Pop-up Center will be staff from the Children’s Department at Parkview Warsaw YMCA, all of whom have had thorough background checks and experience working with children. Early Childhood Alliance (ECA) is the provider of care for the Center. ECA is a non-profit organization that has been serving the early education needs of children across northern Indiana for 67 years. ECA will be providing additional training to all staff members prior to opening the Center.

The Kosciusko County Community Foundation and other local foundations have donated funds to help make this Pop-up Center a reality in Kosciusko County. Additionally, Warsaw Community Schools is donating desks and food through their meal program. Rabb Water Systems is donating water bottles and Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church has been very generous in offering their newly renovated children’s wing as the location for the Pop-up Center.

For more information about the Early Childhood Alliance Pop-Up Center, contact Sherry Searles at childhooddirector@kchamber.com