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Editorial: Happy Days change to a childrcare center helps solve community needs

What was once known as a nursery school will now by a childcare center.

Last week’s announcement by Happy Days Preschool that it would be entering the childcare business is welcome news, not only to parents but community leaders as well.

For at least a year and a half, elected officials, business owners and owners have recognized the shortage of childcare options in Ely, and what that has meant beyond parents not being able to find somebody to care for their kids.

That shortage has had impacts across the community, making it more difficult for employers to find employees and making Ely a less attractive place to move to and raise a family. Those pondering opening a business or expanding here had to factor that in to any discussion.

We’ve written on these pages about community pillars such as a healthy school system, hospital and health care facilities, nursing homes and more.

Accessible and affordable childcare ranks right there with those as a need and not a want for any community that expects to thrive.

That’s why it’s encouraging to see Happy Days branch out and solve a problem of their own, declining enrollment in their preschools offerings.

The new center will be housed at the soon-to-be renovated Revenue Building and will offer childcare for children ages six weeks to 12 years old. Their goal is to open in the fall of 2023.

Childcare will be offered full or part-time, five days a week. They will also continue to offer preschool programming with wrap-around care provided.

Area funding agencies have taken interest in these projects as they relate to both family needs and economic development. That includes the Northland Foundation and the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board.

To sign up for the interest list and receive updates about construction, programming, and other information, email with your name, child’s name and birth date.

This project is responding to community needs and shows the foresight of the Happy Days board and the recognition by area officials that childcare is a valuable and necessary component in making Ely a sustainable community.

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