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Meeting milestones: Kinderkidz opens second Dickinson location

The Kinderkidz daycare and preschool is tentatively set to open their third location, the second in Dickinson, this Thursday.

Kinderkidz
Kinderkidz staff at an open house for their new Dickinson location on Sunday, Jan. 22.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press
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DICKINSON — Kinderkidz is set to open their second Dickinson location, Kinderkidz Central, this Thursday, Jan. 26, provided the necessary license is approved on time. Owner Jennifer Moser said she anticipates being licensed to take on 100 children, but will start off with about 40 and gradually fill more classrooms as new staff is hired. They offer childcare and preschool for children ranging from six weeks to five years old.

Moser thanked everyone who helped bring it all together in a Facebook post after an open house at the new location, one half of the old Dickinson Press building, at 1815 1st St W. The other half is being used by Megan Vanson of Artistic Exchange Dance Studio.

The new daycare will have two spaces for miscellaneous activities and seven classrooms. Moser acknowledged struggles of childcare shortages, both statewide and locally, but said she doesn’t want to rush expansion. She said she tends to keep enrollment slightly below what her three facilities are licensed for to guarantee a quality experience for every child and mitigate the possibility of overwhelming staff. For example, the north Dickinson location is licensed for approximately 150 kids but only takes about 140, while the Bismarck daycare could accommodate 92 but only takes 80.

“Our focus is really just making sure that we have the indoor space that's suitable for the kids and the staff,” Moser said. “We want to help the burden of the community with daycare. But we also want to make sure that we have quality. And we don't want to just shove them into spaces just because we can.”

Kinderkidz is looking to hire. Pay starts at $13 per hour, potentially higher depending on experience and education. The minimum prerequisite is to pass a state background check. CPR and first aid training are provided.

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When asked what makes her business special, Moser thanked her current teachers and employees for everything they do.

“I think my staff sets me apart. It's definitely not a one person show. Like, I may own it, I may have started it. But it really takes all of us to make this happen. I have people that have worked for me for all 20 years that I've been open, which is amazing. So I'm very blessed in that aspect. I just have amazing, caring staff members who really enjoy doing their jobs,” she said.

Kinderkidz sign
The Kinderkidz central Dickinson location.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press

With Moser moving into the managing role at the new location, Lisa Hageman will now be director at their north Dickinson daycare, which is at 161 21st St. W. Hageman explained that she decided to pursue a career in childcare more than a decade ago because of how much she enjoyed taking care of her young son, who is now 14. Prior to taking on the director position she was a preschool teacher of 4 and 5 year-olds.

“I think just seeing them progress from infant to pre-K, and hitting those milestones, I think that's probably the best part of it, seeing their smiling faces every day,” she said. “Their brains develop so fast during that time.”

She emphasized the importance of fostering quick cognitive development, inculcating good manners and equipping these young children with adequate social skills.

“We use conscious discipline where we talk to them about how they're feeling, tell them or show them you know, their emotions, let them know that their feelings are okay; and how to process those feelings, how we can work through different steps, especially if they're mad, getting them to be able to regulate and calm themselves down,” Hageman said.

She noted that some of these tools they utilize to instill discipline and calm tantrums include various breathing techniques, reading stories and 1-on-1 time with a teacher. Kinderkidz takes great care to ensure that children are on par with their classmates.

“We make sure that they're meeting their milestones in that age group before we move them on to the next classroom,” she said.

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The milestones may seem small but are important to proper development. For example, infants must be able to hold a bottle on their own, crawl, sit up and hold themselves up. Before being sent off to Kindergarten, instructors make sure the young pupils can write their names, recognize letters of the alphabet and distinguish certain sounds.

For more information about Kinderkidz call 701-483-9550, email kinderkidzlearningcenter@gmail.com or check out their Facebook page. For helpful parenting tips from the stages of infancy through preschool age, go to the CDC website cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/index.html.

Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge. His reporting focuses on Stark County government and surrounding rural communities.
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