City of Dover working to increase childcare access

(ABC 6 News) – There are currently zero operating childcare providers in the city of Dover. Since the last in-home provider closed down last year, the city has been trying to fill that vacuum.

The old school building in Dover has held City Hall and a community gym since the city took it over about five years ago. Now, the city is trying to breathe new life into the old building by adding childcare services there.

Working parents are running out of options.

On top of being a city councilwoman and working at Rochester Public Utilities, Jaime Putzier is a mom. She is fighting for childcare on the city council after difficulty finding childcare for her kids this year.

“I’m just realizing that other parents are having to outsource to other cities,” Putzier said.

Parents aren’t able to go to nearby Eyota for care either.

“They are full. So some people are having to go to St. Charles or Rochester.”

Which Putzier said can add an extra hour and extra stress on to a busy family’s commute. Recognizing that the building had extra space, the city thought they could partner with a local provider and open a safe center for 12 to 15 kids during the day.

They just finished work on a kitchen in the building, and are waiting on officials from Olmsted County to make sure everything is up to code.

“We want to make use of that building as best as we can. For the city, I think it would be very helpful for a lot of the parents who are, again, struggling to find care.”