Hesston Community Child Care Association
Hesston Community Child Care Association is made up of three programs. Hesston Intergenerational Child Development Center, a School Age Program known as Kid's Connect, and Hesston Community Preschool. Hesston Intergenerational Child Development Center provides care for children aged 6 weeks - enrollment in Kindergarten. Kid's Connect provides care for children who are currently enrolled in a USD program - 4th grade. Hesston Community Preschool offers a half day preschool program for children ages 3-5 years.
Hesston Intergenerational Child Development Center (HICDC) serves children ages 6 weeks through enrollment in Kindergarten. HICDC is open Monday - Friday from 6:30 AM- 6:00 PM. HICDC provides several care options to help accommodate the needs of families in the community. HICDC has a Kindergarten readiness program for the 3 oldest classes to help prepare them for the time they will spend in a Unified School District. Due to allergies and to keep all children safe, HICDC is a peanut/tree nut-free facility. HICDC is closed for Good Friday, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving & the day after, and Christmas - New Year's Day. If Hesston Schools close due to weather conditions our childcare facilities will be closed as well. HICDC is located at 441 Neufeld Drive in Hesston Kansas.
The Kid's Connect Program has two parts, a supplemental program that offers care during the school year, and a summer program that offers care during the summer. Both serve children who are currently enrolled in Kindergarten through 4th grade. Kid's Connect provides before-school care starting at 6:30AM and after-school care closing at 6:00 PM. During 1/2 Day Kindergarten, in-service days, and half days for Hesston School District, USD 460, Kid's Connect has care available as well. During the summer months, Kid's Connect provides a summer enrichment program from 6:30 AM - 6:00 PM. The School Age Program is closed for Good Friday, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving & the day after, and Christmas - New Year's Day. If Hesston Schools close due to weather conditions our childcare facilities will be closed as well. Our Kid's Connect is located on the campus of Hesston Elementary School at 300 E. Amos in Hesston Kansas.
Hesston Community Preschool
Hesston Community Preschool (HCP) serves children ages 3 - 5 years. HCP has two sessions. The Tuesday and Thursday class offers a session from 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM for children ages 3-4 years. The Monday, Wednesday, and Friday class offers a session for children ages 4-5 years from 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM. Hesston Community Preschool operates from September - May. A list of planned closures for the center will be available at enrollment. If Hesston Schools close due to weather conditions our childcare facilities will be closed as well. Hesston Community Preschool is located on the campus of Hesston Middle School at 100 N. Ridge Road in Hesston Kansas.
From 1976 - 2005 Hesston Community Child Care Association operated out of many different locations throughout Hesston including several churches, and Hay and Forage. In the early 2000s a vision for an intergenerational program came through Director Judy Friesen and CEO of Schowalter Villa James Krehbiel. In 2005 Hesston Intergenerational Child Development Center moved to our current location on the campus of Bluestem Communities. This opened up interaction between the youth and seniors living at Schowalter Villa. In 2018 the final phase of the intergenerational Program was completed with the opening of two classrooms in the Mullet Place building.
Hesston Community Child Care Association remembers our roots with the Swartzendruber family who created many play structures and equipment needed for the childcare center. Each playground still uses something that was created by a Swartzendruber. In 2019, the playgrounds were named "Druber's Playground" in dedication to the support and willingness to create something useable from nothing for the center.
Judy Friesen saw Hesston Community Child Care Association through many moves, trials, and successes throughout her time as Director. Judy helped create the love of nature, and the Christ-inspired, child-centered program that we deeply value. In 2018 when Judy Friesen retired after 30 years of service, the classrooms were renamed after wildflowers that represent her quality traits and spell out her last name.
Expanding Community Service
The Kid's Connect has been serving children in the community at Hesston Elementary School since 1992. Working to meet local family needs, Kid's Connect provides several care options for school age children including before/after school care and full/half day care during Hesston School District's in-service days. During the summer months, care is expanded to an all-day program for the summer months. Both Programs of Kid's Connect operate out of Hesston Elementary School.
In 2022 Hesston Community Child Care Association partnered with Hesston Community Preschool to begin preparations to provide a morning preschool option aiming to better serve the community. With the cooperation of Hesston School District, USD 460, a space was made available at Hesston Middle School for HCP to operate out of. The Preschool operates during the months of September – May. The fundamental objective of Hesston Community Preschool is to help children thrive in social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and spiritual areas of development.
Our mission is to provides a safe, healthy, stimulating, and secure Christian environment that responds to the individual needs and diversity of the children and families who choose to participate in our programs.
Jill Moore is the Intergenerational Coordinator for the HICDC center along with Schowalter Villa. Jill organizes weekly play time in the Villa’s outdoor courtyard for our two oldest classes at HICDC. The classes that spend time in the courtyard have a variety of activities to enrich their time with the residents, who we like to call our Grand-Friends. Some of these activities include large motor skills using balls, hoops, and a variety of other outdoor toys. Children also build listening skills through fine motor activities such as moving to music, use of puppets, flags, and a parachute.
The center has a multi-purpose room that has windows into a hallway of Schowalter Villa that residents are able to watch through. We are able to coordinate play time and activities in this room that all classes are able to participate in. The entire center is also able to participate in big parades and themed events throughout the year.
In the summer months the children have weekly picnics for lunch on the greater Villa campus with residents nearby to observe and interact with the children.
Due to Covid restrictions some of the interactions between children and the Grand-Friends have been limited. We always take the health and safety of everyone into account when planning activities. The Intergenerational Program benefits both the children and residents in many ways. The children build relationships with people of all ages and learn to interact with people that they may not see on a regular basis. The children are also exposed to a variety of people with limitations and learn to process those limitations they see. The residents enjoy seeing the children on walks around campus or the playground and look forward to seeing the children regularly.