YMCA opens Little Sparks Child Care Center

(Ron Deuter/Northern Lights YMCA) SYSTEMS CONTROL LITTLE Sparks Child Care Center caregiver Claire Lindholm plays with Alivia Bunker during opening day May 7 at the Northern Lights YMCA Dickinson Center.

IRON MOUNTAIN – The Northern Lights YMCA Dickinson Center has officially opened the Systems Control Little Sparks Child Care Center at its location at 800 Crystal Lake Blvd. No. 110.

“Adding full-time child care to the YMCA just made sense for us and for the community,” said Jonathan Ringel, director of the Northern Lights YMCA Dickinson Center. “Offering affordable high-quality care, and meeting a true need of the community, fits perfect with the mission of the YMCA.”

He credited the successful capital campaign and the partnership with Systems Control with making the child care center a reality.

Attempting to address one of its employees’ top concerns, Systems Control partnered on the project in late 2018. The YMCA has spent the past few months turning unoccupied space on the east end of the building into three classrooms.

The licensed child care center officially opened May 7. Enrollment is ongoing, with spaces available to the public.

“It’s truly been a labor of love, and we couldn’t be more excited to be up and running,” said Sue Nelson, center director.

According to local state licensing representatives, the demand for quality child care in the Dickinson County continues to grow each year, and the YMCA expects the center to reach full enrollment within the first year.

The center offers full-time care from 6 weeks old to preschool age, at a flat weekly rate of $170 or $195 for the infant room. Hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the ability to add evening care in demand warrants. The weekly rate includes all snacks and meals, full youth YMCA membership and other free YMCA activities such as swim lessons.

The families of enrolled children also can receive a discounted YMCA family membership.

“Our goal is to provide well-rounded experiences to enhance the child’s development on all levels,” Nelson said.

The age-based curriculum of the center includes components of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM.

Systems Control Little Sparks Child Care Center is licensed for up to 48 children, including 12 in the infant room. As the center approaches capacity, employees of Systems will be afforded first preference.

For more information on Little Sparks Child Care Center, contact Nelson at 906-239-3717 or go to https://nlymca.com/dickinson/announcements/little-sparks-child-care-center-opens-at-ymca/.

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