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Lamberton Exploring POD Childcare Model


Lamberton EDA Exploring the POD Childcare Model Option….

There are many pieces in the puzzle of having a thriving community and work force.  One of the things that needs to be available is childcare.  Lamberton is very lucky to have the providers that it does, but there is still a shortage of childcare available in the area.  The Lamberton EDA is looking at the possibility of developing a pod childcare location. 

The pod childcare model allows multiple providers to operate in one building without operating as a center.  The provider in each pod would be licensed.  The pod model is an increasingly attractive option to increase the supply and sustainability of childcare businesses in rural areas. The benefits of this model are decreased expenses with rent, and lower start-up costs and operating expenses.

Providers run their programs separately, but they share the overhead costs that can make opening and operating a center prohibitively expensive in rural areas. The pod model can be more attractive to potential childcare providers who don’t want to operate a childcare business in their homes.  Under this pod model, family childcare providers may feel less isolated and have access to more resources and support, as opposed to when they provide such services on their own.

What this would potentially look like in Lamberton, the EDA would own a building that would house the pods.  Each pod would be in their own area that would include a play area, a bathroom, and kitchen.  Each pod would be operated by a childcare provider that would obtain the licensing required by the state.  The state would license them as if they were “in home” providers.  Providers would pay monthly rent to the EDA.  

Some may ask why not just do a childcare center?  Childcare centers may offer more “spots” for children, but with much more regulation and cost.  That state has stricter regulations for childcare centers.  These regulations also restrict who can work in a center requiring certain certifications causing additional staffing issues.  All these regulations and restrictions raise the cost of offering the service, which would have to be passed to the families using the service.  This makes it an unattractive option for the EDA to pursue. 

The EDA would like anyone interested in opening a pod model childcare to contact the City Office.  (Valerie Halter 507-752-7601 or vhalter@lambertonmn.com) Once we determine interest, we will pursue securing a location and moving forward.  The EDA looks forward to helping families in the area that struggle with childcare and supporting the work force in the area. 

Stevens County recently opened a six-unit townhome complex in Morris that is being used for child care pods.  Each unit has an independent provider that can provide care for up to 12 children.  If a pod would not have a provider, the County can rent the unit out for housing since each unit is a functioning townhome.  This reduces the risk by providing another option.  Check out this video feature the facility:  YouTube Video