RAPID CITY, S.D. — Ryan Zens and Alfred Waldo stumbled on a church on South Canyon Road in Rapid City with a for sale sign.
It fit the bill for a child care center including classroom space, a kitchen, and stage area totaling over 14,000 square feet.
They are in the process of renovating the space to make it work for their mission of helping families.
Zens & Waldo both have backgrounds in the health care industry – and between them both, they have 36 years in childcare and nursing.
Ryan Zens, the Co-Owner of Every Child is Special Child Care, says, “The facilities I’ve managed over the years, I really do believe in and I really do have a passion for, and Alfred and I partnered and we decided let’s do this and I can still be on site and make sure the care is at the level that it needs to be at.”
After taking polls and doing research, they saw a need in the community for family care. So they are planning to offer extended hours, a shuttle service home for area families and a rec program for kids ages 12-14.
Zens adds, “Helping families and making sure they get the things they need so it’s almost along the lines of working in the health care industry as well, just helping people.”
They will be enrolling kids from 2-14 years old and have an academic preschool program, an after school program, a flexible care system, mildly sick care and special needs care. They are hoping to reach families of all make ups.
“We believe our facility will encompass all children. We really want to make a well rounded program,” says Zens.
Most staff will be expected to have associate degrees in the child care field and they will offer continuing educator training for all staff.
Right now, they are wrapping up the final projects in the building.
Enrollments are underway and they plan to open April 1.
They are currently hiring a full time director.