Childcare during the COVID-19 Pandemic has been essential for working parents.
Imagination Station Daycare, 678 Maple Rd., has received SPARK funds to update the daycare’s worn flooring, which helps with cleaning and keeping the daycare healthier, Marla Oharah, owner and operator said.
Oharah was one of over one-hundred Bourbon County businesses who applied for the SPARKS grant in July 2020.
” I applied for $25,000 and was awarded $17,500,” she said. “Two projects were identified on the application that would qualify for helping reduce the effects of COVID along with some administrative cost.”
“Receiving only part of the requested grant, I was only able to complete one project,” she said. “I chose to replace the extremely worn floor covering in my 3,400 square-foot facility to help with keeping the daycare’s environment clean and virus free. The grant was awarded in September. The floor covering was purchased in mid-September and installed in mid-November. At the same time, I also replaced a worn water heater that wasn’t working properly and purchased/replaced a new carpet cleaner at my own expense.”
“The grant was very much needed and appreciated,” Oharah said. “The kids at the daycare love the new carpet and I appreciate the new carpet and hard vinyl plank floor covering for the ease of keeping the center environment cleaner and healthier.”
Marla and her husband, Lynne, purchased the daycare business in 2006 and have operated the facility as a Kansas State Licensed Child Care Center since.
“Child care is a business that is in demand and does fill a need of parents needing a quality place to have their children cared for,” she said. “I fill the need to provide safe, loving and learning service to the community.”
“We were closed for a very short time when COVID19 first was declared a pandemic and most of our clients had to honor the stay at home order,” Marla said. “Even though our numbers were greatly reduced I reopened in hopes that the children would return.”
The Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce is charged with leading Kansas forward in recovery from the far-reaching effects of COVID-19 and is responsible for the statewide distribution of the federal coronavirus relief fund, according to its website.