FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - New Full-Day Childcare Center Recruited to Oregon City CONTACT INFORMATION Mari’s Little Lambs Mari Keuter, Founder Mari@MarisLittleLambs.com Clackamas Workforce Partnership Bridget Dazey, Executive Director Bridget.Dazey@clackamasworkforce.org
New Full-Day Childcare Center Recruited to Oregon City
Oregon City, Oregon – March 30, 2022: Thanks to a multi-partner grassroots effort in Clackamas County, the Oregon City area will have a much needed new full-day childcare center operated by Beaverton-based Mari’s Little Lambs and scheduled to open May 2022. The new center will provide care and education for approximately 60 children from infant age up to preschool adjacent to the Kingsberry Heights Apartments at 14290 Marjorie Lane, Oregon City.
Center administrators are pursing approvals through Oregon DHS and the USDA to qualify the center for childcare and meal subsidies to support the diverse mix of incomes in the community.
“Our programming is so important to a child’s preparedness for school, we will explore every opportunity to remove barriers for families,” said Mari Keuter, founder of Mari’s Little Lambs. “All children receive the same quality of care at any of our locations regardless of income.”
Mari’s Little Lambs’ investment in Oregon City comes at a time when more childcare providers in the area are closing than opening. According to Clackamas County Childcare for All – a taskforce launch by partners from Clackamas County Early Learning Hub, Clackamas Education Service District, and the Clackamas Workforce Partnership– the county needs space for 11,000 more children then currently able to provide. During the height of the pandemic, 1 in 5 local childcare providers permanently closed in the area.
“We work at both the policy and tactical level to address the childcare shortage,” said Bridget Dazey, Executive Director of Clackamas Workforce Partnership. “We were able to show both our support and the research to justify an investment in Clackamas County. Attracting a new provider as organized as Mari’s Little Lambs is a confirmation we can and will positively start moving the needle towards more availability in our community.”
In 2019, Stephen Brooks, a community development consultant, had asked Mari Keuter through a mutual connection to consider Oregon City for an expansion location. “I had learned about the impact that the extreme shortage of childcare was having on families and employers in Oregon City, and had asked Mari if she would be willing to champion the cause. She fortunately said yes.”
That’s when Brooks organized a meeting between Dazey, then Oregon City Economic Development Coordinator, Lori Bell, and Mari’s Little Lambs.
“Opening a new childcare center is not easy on a good day, but through the determination of local partners and community support, the center is now on track to open, said Keuter. “We are now enrolling and looking forward to opening our doors on May 2nd, 2022.”
The center will offer a range of programs starting from infancy through preschool, focusing each curriculum on the developmental needs of each age group. Mari’s Little Lambs is digitally enabled for parental engagement, and will be able to share a child’s progress, daily highlights, special achievements, and major milestones through secure mobile apps.
Online enrollment at Mari’s Little Lambs’ new center at 14290 Marjorie Lane, Oregon City is now open through https://www.marislittlelambs.com/oregon-city.
About Mari’s Little Lamb Childcare
Mari’s Little Lambs provides high quality play-based early education and daycare for infants through preschoolers in center-based settings. The childcare operator also provides school-age programs at local elementary schools. Mari’s Little Lambs first opened its door 20 years ago and its leaders come directly from teaching. Mari’s Little Lamb is currently hiring staff and teachers for the new Oregon City center, with growth opportunities in the organization. Interested applicants can find more information about open positions at https://www.marislittlelambs.com/staff.
About Clackamas Workforce Partnership
The Clackamas Workforce Partnership is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building a strong workforce in Clackamas County. Through public-private partnerships, we attract funding to help local businesses proactively address a key challenge to their success—a skilled, competitive workforce. As a convener of public-private partnerships, we oversee the public workforce system in Clackamas County. Our work is to help our system work better on behalf of all our customers.
CWP, in partnership with Clackamas Education Service District has worked with local governments and key decision makers to draw attention to this issue and to take the first steps towards longer term solutions, including changes in policy to be more provider friendly.