Child care

Pending a state license by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Learn and Grow will continue to provide child care to community children.

All that remains for Abilene Childcare Learning Center to take over the Learn and Grow Depot is a state license.

“We’ll apply for a license,” said Robin Hansen with the Learning Center. “Hopefully, it will come to be facilitated in the next few months.”

It will be a new license and could take up to 90 days.

Hansen said once that happens and the child care facility is up and running, it will be accepting new kids.

Parents of children at the child care center Learn and Grow were informed last week that Hansen of Abilene Childcare Learning Center has agreed to lease the facility.

“This agreement allows her to expand her business and lease the building from MHS (Memorial Health System), using the rooms that are currently occupied by Learn and Grow Depot. In order for MHS to continue to bring quality health care to Abilene, it is crucial that we also be able to provide an option for quality child care,” the letter said.

The letter was signed by Harold Courtois, chief executive officer of Memorial Health System which owns Learn and Grow, and Jenny Stuck, Learn and Grow director.

“The Abilene Childcare Learning Center has served this area for almost 40 years. The wealth of knowledge they have in this field not only brings an essential service to our community children, but also brings opportunity for growth to an obvious need that not only effects Abilene, but surrounding areas as well. Unlike other communities who have suffered from the crisis of childcare shortages, we are fortunate to have a way to come together and continue to bring quality childcare to the parents of our community,” according to the letter.

“Please rest assured that this is a good thing for MHS, Abilene Childcare Learning Center, and the Abilene area. We have solved several problems with this decision, protected our employees, and the parents who may have lost childcare at the first of the year with the continued childcare in this facility that will be offered to everyone. It is our goal to make sure that there is no lapse in childcare as the transition takes place from one company to another.”

Memorial Health System informed parents of non-employees in October that the child care center would no longer accepted children of non-employees on Jan. 1 because of the difficulty of finding qualified teachers.

Courtois said Learn and Grow would remain open to all kids until the Learning Center was ready to take over.

Earlier this month, Child Care Aware of Kansas, a program in the Kansas Department of Families, estimated that in 2018 there were 386 children needing child care in Dickinson County.

Hansen said at that meeting the Learning Center had already applied for a license to expand and had already hired more teachers.

Contact Tim Horan at

Contact Tim Horan at

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