Sturgeon Bay, Wis. (December 26, 2023) – Children First Development Center, Inc. (Children First), is another step closer to providing licensed group care for children ages six weeks to four years old by summer of 2024. The Door County YMCA has agreed to sell the former Barker Center property at 1743 Egg Harbor Road, Sturgeon Bay to Children First. With Door Community Child Development Center moving to its expanded facility on Gordon Road, the facility will become vacant in late February.
“As we completed our market research of the child care need in Door County, wrote our business plan, and scouted for potential properties, we continually kept circling back to what an ideal scenario it would be to purchase the former Barker Center. The facility allows us to start serving children and families the quickest, with the least updates required of any property in Door County,” stated Kayla Lehman, Administrator of Children First. “We are beyond excited and thankful that the YMCA is giving us this opportunity.”
Children First plans to provide care for 76 children in the facility on Egg Harbor Road and already has a waitlist of more than 45 children. Families interested in being added to the waitlist can email firstname.lastname@example.org with name(s) and birthdate(s) of their child(ren).
“Adding another licensed, quality child care center is going to not only positively impact the children we care for, but it will be a huge sigh of relief to families, especially those just trying to provide basic needs for their families. Our community employers are going to see a boost in the workforce. Employees will not only be able to perform their jobs, they will also be more productive knowing their child(ren) are well cared for,” says Lorie Torbeck, Center Director of Children First.
There is a lot of work to be done before the sale is finalized and doors are opened to families. With child care being a little to no profit margin operation, as it should be, Children First began a fundraising campaign to raise $750,000, which will cover the purchase of the property, construction updates to the facility, as well as equipment and materials needed for the facility to become licensed. United Way of Door County is serving as fiscal sponsor for Children First until 501(c)(3) status is granted and are accepting donations on behalf of Children First.
If you are interested in donating, learning more about child care offerings, or discussing employment opportunities, please contact Children First at email@example.com.