A few openings remain as Galva’s new daycare center is ready for business

Months of hard work and preparation will pay off Monday for Feltner’s Fun Center Child Care in Galva.

The new daycare center, on N.W. Fourth Avenue in the former Kids First location, opens its doors and helps fill a massive void in the community.

“Anxious, scared, excited — you name it,” said Amanda Feltner, owner of the new facility with her husband, Rick. “So many emotions are going through my mind.”

The Feltners have provided daycare service in Kewanee for nearly 12 years, and are ready to bring their brand of child care to Galva.

“When we first walked in and saw the space and how it could be utilized, it was a no-brainer for us,” Rick Feltner said.

“It was just perfect for us,” Amanda added. “The park (Wiley) is across the street and the library is a block away. It’s just perfect.”

When Kids First closed in August, the Feltners wasted little time and checked out the Galva facility. Amanda visited the site and Rick contacted Galva city administrator David Dyer about renting the space.

“From there, we didn’t look back. We made arrangements with Dave to lease the space and bought all of the remaining equipment in here,” Rick said. “And we have been buying stuff since then for three months.”

The Feltners hosted an open house in late October in conjunction with Galva: Ready, Set, Grow’s “Trunk or Treat” Halloween event. The process — approval from the fire marshal, Health Department inspections and DCFS licensing — churned along, with the Feltners finally receiving the good news Friday, Jan. 26.

“We got the phone call at 4:30 p.m. Friday that they are processing our permit,” Rick said. “At this point we’re just waiting for it to arrive in the mail.”

“I was a little nervous — being from Kewanee and having a daycare in Kewanee — and coming into Galva. Galva has been amazing. They have welcomed us with open arms,” Amanda said. “They know there is such a need for good, quality daycare.”

The initial permit allows for 38 children — ages 0-12 — in the facility, and within months the daycare center will have licensing to accommodate 67 children.

In preparing the new facility, the Feltners opened up the cafeteria in the building and created four rooms — the infant room, toddler room, preschool room and school-age room — for the children.

“We just gave it some TLC,” Amanda said of the building. “The floors were cleaned, fresh paint. The room arrangement is perfect for what we’re doing. We put quality into it.”

A staff of 11 and a cook will greet children when the doors open Monday. The employment numbers will increase as the center expands. Meaghan Ensley is the center’s director, and Krystal Burger serves as assistant director.

“Passionate daycare with compassionate teachers,” Rick said of the center’s mission. “Anybody that’s here, we want them to be passionate about early childhood and we want them to be focused on the children.”

The center still has some openings for children. Parents can go to the center’s website — www.feltners   funcenter.com — to enroll their children or get on the waiting list. The center is hosting an open door enrollment Thursday and Friday (Feb. 1 and 2) from 4:30 to 8 p.m.

“We’re really excited to open this up for the community, and have a good resource for parents that need to work or go to school,” Rick said.