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Three Rice County Childcare Facilities Receive Updates Thanks to SEED Grant


By Karly Frederick, Rice County Community Foundation


RICE COUNTY, Kan. — Three childcare facilities in Rice County—Little River Learning Center, Sterling Lil Cub Childcare, and Lyons Cornerstone Childcare Center—have received updates and enhancements, thanks to the Strategic Economic Expansion and Development (SEED) Grant provided by the Kansas Department of Commerce.

This transformational initiative, a result of collaborative efforts spearheaded by Clelia McCrory of Essdack as the grant writer, was made possible through the dedicated support of various entities. The Rice County Community Foundation contributed $6,000 in matching funds, fortifying the grant’s impact. The combined efforts of the cities of Little River, Lyons, and Sterling, who supported the application and provided grant administration funds, played a pivotal role in securing the grant worth $49,125.

Each childcare facility strategically allocated their portion of the grant to cater to the specific needs of their learning environments. The Little River Learning Center utilized the funds to install a sunshade over a section of their outdoor play area, introduced benches around the outdoor space, and acquired various classroom furniture and learning materials.

Little River Learning Center Sunshade
New sunshade at Little River Learning Center.

Meanwhile, the Sterling Lil Cub Childcare directed their grant allocation towards renovating a bathroom for toddler use and acquiring classroom furniture, ensuring a more conducive and functional learning space for the children in their care.

Lil Cub Childcare bathroom in Sterling
Update Bathroom at Lil Cub Childcare in Sterling.

Lastly, Lyons Cornerstone Childcare Center utilized their grant towards the purchase of essential playground equipment, fostering an enriching and engaging outdoor experience for the young learners.

Cornerstone Childcare playground in Lyons
Updated playground at Cornerstone Childcare in Lyons.

This collaborative effort, funded by the SEED Grant and supported by various local stakeholders, marks a significant stride in enhancing early childhood education facilities in Rice County. These updates aim to provide an enriched and conducive environment for the holistic development and education of the county’s youngest residents.