EDA shares an update on prospective childcare business in Grand Marais

EDA shares an update on prospective childcare business in Grand Marais

A prospective childcare business in Grand Marais is underway. 

While the new business, started by Cook County resident, Hunter MacLaurin, is in the initial stages of applying for licensing and checking all necessary boxes, an anticipated opening date is fall 2022. 

Beth Drost, executive director of the Economic Development Authority (EDA), provided an update to WTIP on the highly anticipated childcare business. 

Drost explains that MacLaurin has applied for EDA funding to start a childcare business at her home. In addition, MacLaurin is receiving small business management help from Pat Campanaro, the Northland Small Business Development Center consultant, to secure grant funding and complete the required steps. 

There is plenty of work yet to do before MacLaurin can open this fall. However, Drost said, “We’re trying to give her as much help as she will take.” 

She adds, “Opening a childcare business is really, really difficult. And so anything that we can do to help get that business open and to keep running is really going to help.”

Currently, there are two for-profit childcare businesses in Cook County. Drost explains the role that adequate childcare facilities play in alleviating worker shortages in the community. 

“If we want some mothers or fathers who stay home to come back to full-time work, we’re going to have to offer a place for the children to go,” Drost said. 

The EDA moved forward with approving funding for MacLaurin’s childcare business during the July 12 meeting. WTIP will share an update as the childcare business progresses. 

In addition, Drost provided an update on other childcare efforts in the community. 

She explained that an active group of individuals is gathering to brainstorm potential childcare ideas and help identify solutions. One of the ideas is to re-open the YMCA childcare center.

Drost said, “If we could open the YMCA childcare center, if we could open that for infants, get the infant room back open, we’d be long, long on our way.” 

The only obstacle is staffing. “They need staff. Problem is a revolving door almost,” Drost said. 

WTIP spoke with EDA executive director Beth Drost about an update on childcare efforts in Cook County. Audio from the interview is below.