A special thank you to Sunflower Child Development, one of IWF’s 2021 Building Community Child Care Solutions Fund grant recipients, for writing this guest blog. To learn more about this wonderful organization that supports working parents and their families, visit: https://www.sunflowerchildcare.org.

Architect’s rendering of new center

Sunflower Child Development Center has certainly hit the ground running! This year, we expanded into a new facility, allowing us to provide care for 215 children while creating innovative indoor STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) play spaces that will be accessible to the public during evenings and weekends.

Sunflower board members and community stakeholders have also been working with an architect to develop a building and business plan that will become a pilot for rural communities across the state.

None of this would be possible without help from our community partners like the Iowa Women’s Foundation. First Children’s Finance, Iowa Rural Development Council, Iowa Department of Human Services, Child Care Resource and Referral Agency, University of Iowa, and children’s museum experts have also been instrumental in our efforts.

In the Spring of 2021, a public capital campaign was launched to raise $4,000,000 locally to use as a match for state, federal, and private grant opportunities. In August, the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors approved a donation of $500,000 towards the project. Just recently, the Winneshiek Medical Center (WMC) Board of Trustees unanimously approved a four-acre land donation to support Sunflower and welcome us to their campus.

WMC understands the importance of child care and the role it plays in hiring and retaining quality workers. The organization is excited to partner and support Sunflower now and in the future, so working parents always have access to reliable, affordable, quality care for their children.

To date, Sunflower has raised just over $3,000,000. Donations are currently being accepted via pledge form (5-year pledges accepted) and online at DecorahDiscovery.org.