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The KinderCottage - new local child care

Open, and soon to expand ... Proprietor Kerry Burns and Jenny Terkildsen have started The KinderCottage day care center on Pine Street in Philip. Their current clientele of 10 youngsters will expand once playground equipment is installed in the fenced-in back yard. Shown, back row, from left: Rehgan Larson, Mallory Vetter and Dilyn Terkildsen holding Beckham Terkildsen. Second row: Layton Terkildsen, Trey Larson, Wakely Burns and Drew Terlkeldsen. Front, sitting: twins Baylor and Creston Burns.

KinderCottage child care, under the management of Kerry Burns with assistance from Jenny Terkildsen, unofficially opened Monday, August 17.

Ten children are currently enrolled: two first graders, three pre-schoolers, four toddlers and one infant. There is a waiting list, but Burns and Terkildsen are waiting to accept more children until after the backyard playground equipment is installed and a front yard picket fence is put in. Located at 301 W. Pine Street, the business telephone number is 685-5375.

Burns is in the process of being registered as a family day care provider with the state of South Dakota. "The advantage of being registered is that we can provide day care for kids whose parents are eligible for child care assistance," said Burns. "The Department of Commerce will make unannounced visits to make sure we're meeting state requirements and we'll also be eligible for a mentoring program with other day care providers."

"My oldest daughter was looking for day care and I just happened to say that Sue Heltzel's house would make a great day care center. The farthest thing from my mind, when I said that, was that I would be the one to buy the house and turn it into a day care center," said Burns. "I started toying with the idea, though, and it just felt like the right thing to do. I earned a bachelor of science degree in education because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children. This is a way to do that. The advantage of this over teaching is that I don't have to worry about following a particular curriculum. We get to learn about dinosaurs and insects and Picasso's abstract paintings if we feel like it."

"Once Jenny and I made the decision to start a day care center, it was 'just whammy' in how fast we had to get things done. We still have work to do. The backyard needs work and we need to install playground equipment. The garage is almost set up to be used as an art shed for messy projects," said Burns.

Terkildsen said, "I love working here. It's a way for me to be with my kids, my nieces and nephews and their friends." Since its unofficial start, the business has grown slowly. This was mostly due to Terkildsen recovering from an August C-section in delivering her son Beckham. "It was nice with my mom operating this day care. My three other kids could be here while I recovered and spent time with Beckham."

"Even though I am the sole proprietor of the building and the business," said Burns, "it's somewhat of a family endeavor. I wouldn't be able to do this without family support. Jenny and I have also received support from other day care providers who have wished us well, even offering their help and the loan of toys and other items."

Burns said, "I never imagined that I would love running a day care center so much. I also love the fact that it's in this house. This house has special meaning to me because it was owned by my good friend and running partner of 20 years, Sue Heltzel, and her husband, Don. Jenny spent a lot of time here when she was growing up because she was friends with Sue's daughter, Melissa. There are just good 'vibes' in this house." The house has a full, finished basement for quiet nap time for the children.

This new business makes a total of six day care centers in Philip: The KinderCottage, Shar & Amy's, Michelle Butler's, Kim Pinney's, Cindy Kerns' Cradles to Crayons and the Small Pine Day Care. One of the Horizon Project goals for the Philip community was to provide more day care services for current and potential residents.