Mar 9, 2022, baytobaynews.com: Good morning: Nurse to open inclusive day care for autistic kids in Dover https://baytobaynews.com/kent/kent/stories/good-morning-nurse-to-open-inclusive-day-care-for-autistic-kids-in-dover,73103
Armed with personal knowledge of the challenge of raising an autistic child, Stacy Flanagan is hoping to provide a day care that can offer children with “extra needs” a proper learning environment.
Mrs. Flanagan, a registered nurse, has targeted May 1 to open her Kind Kids Early Learning Center at 725 Walker Road in Dover.
“We basically came up with the idea of opening a day care that’s inclusive to children who have autism, as well as children who do not. That way everyone can learn from each other, and this will give them somewhere safe to go while their parents go to work,” said Mrs. Flanagan, whose oldest son, Brody, was diagnosed with autism around age 2. “I am opening a center for children like my son.”
It was her and her husband Mark’s experience — and struggles — with finding day care for Brody following his diagnosis that inspired Mrs. Flanagan to open a facility for others with the same journey.
She said there is a great demand for this type of early-learning establishment, as 1 in 44 children nationwide were identified with autism spectrum disorder in 2021….
While she said she is getting some great support so far, she has posted a GoFundMe page to purchase playground equipment to accommodate all children, as well as a sensory room that kids can use for therapy and as a “safe place” when experiencing stress.
The Kind Kids Early Learning Center is hoping to host around 50 children, ranging from 6 weeks to 5 years old. Mrs. Flanagan is also looking to offer a before- and after-school program.
She has also purchased the lot next to 725 Walker Road, with an eye toward building another facility once she gets the original up and running smoothly….
Nurse Stacy Flanagan was inspired by the journey with her autistic son, Brody, to establish Kind Kids Early Learning Center, which has an anticipated opening of May 1 in Dover