When a local family learned baby No. 4 was on the way, preparations included reserving a spot in a familiar facility: Meadow Wood Children’s Center in Liberty Lake.
“They didn’t think twice to put their baby here, just like they did with the other three,” MWCC Director Fawn Dunn said.
After 25 years serving the Liberty Lake community, the licensed childcare center has a lot of stories like this one. In some cases, it’s not just siblings joining the MWCC family.
“We have been here since 1995,” said Dunn, who runs the business with her sister, Heather Lance. “We have seen families come and go, and their children grow up and then bring their children back to us.”
A consistent, community-oriented, family-run environment has been key to their success, the sisters said. Not that things haven’t changed over the years.
Cabinets full of curriculum books have been replaced by searches on Pinterest and the internet, not to mention online trainings. In 2009, MWCC moved into their own brand-new building at 2224 N. Swing Lane, and new playground equipment was installed last summer. Perhaps the most remarkable difference is in parent communication. In the early years, they produced daily reports sent home on a half-sheet of paper each night. Now, there are emails and an app that allows the staff to share photographs, notifications and communications with parents throughout the day.
Among the favorite memories, Lance recalled the time a MWCC student was the 10,000th child through the line during a field trip to the Seahawks summer training camp in Cheney. He received an autographed football and quickly became a MWCC legend. (The center is licensed for children 1 month to 12 years of age, and the field trip was part of a summer program for older students.)
MWCC also prioritizes family events throughout the year to further build community, particularly around the holidays. The annual Halloween Carnival, Family Thanksgiving Feast and Holiday Caroling Program and Cookie Social create memories for the children and parents alike. Similarly, “Muffins for Moms” and “Donuts for Dads” are always a big hit, as parents not only enjoy connecting for breakfast but are surprised with a handmade gift from their child.
Moving forward, the sisters plan to keep the gameplan unchanged from what brought them to this point: a caring team, a secure environment, and a calendar full of interactive and educational activities. It’s a blueprint likely to keep people calling to reserve a place at MWCC.
“For many families, we’re one of their first thoughts when they find out they’re pregnant,” Dunn said. “When parents discover Meadow Wood Children’s Center, they find a partner their family can grow with.”
NOTE: A version of this article first appeared in the 2020 Liberty Lake Yearbook.