Jul 20, 2022

$500K grant secured for new childcare facility in Great Bend

Posted Jul 20, 2022 2:09 AM

Advancing Barton County Childcare, Inc. , established by Great Bend Economic Development, Inc., was recently awarded a sizeable grant from the Patterson Family Foundation in the amount of $500,000. These funds will be used for the construction of a new childcare facility located in Great Bend.

“Childcare is a huge priority for us, primarily because we’ve found the lack of childcare in Barton County to be a major barrier in the area’s push for growth,” said Sara Hayden, President of GBED, Inc. “There are approximately 700 spots needed for childcare above and beyond what is available currently. We founded Advancing Barton County Childcare (ABCC) to find strategic ways to combat this shortage and help employers and employees fill this gap.”

GBED has been fundraising to establish new childcare facilities around the county, accepting both private and public donations, as well as applying for grants. The Patterson Family Foundation is now the largest donor for the project, and the committee anticipates completing the fundraising process later this summer.

The Patterson Family Foundation is a family-led foundation extending the legacy of Neal and Jeanne Patterson, and was established to reinvest in rural communities and cultivate values of education and hard work for current and future generations.

“On behalf of the Foundation, I am pleased to award funding to GBED Inc. Access to childcare is an important resource for families," said Sara Hackett, program officer for the Patterson Family Foundation. "We look forward to learning about GBED Inc’s success with this programming."

The ABCC board plans to continue their efforts to add more childcare facilities in Barton County in the future.

“We’re very excited to break ground on this first project,” Hayden said. “We’re so grateful for the generous support of the Patterson Family Foundation, as well as our other donors. This creates so much potential and new opportunity for the future of Great Bend and Barton County.”

In June, Hayden said 95% of the funding needed for the $1.6 million childcare facility was secured. At that time, she noted ABCC received a large grant, from a not-disclosed source.

Economic Development raised over $435,000 for the project and the Barton County Commission contributed $435,000 to help start the daycare.

The location of the facility has not been announced, but the building will serve up to 59 children.