Freeman Health System unveils finished Learning Center

Ribbon cutting marks end of construction on childcare facility
Freeman Learning Center

JOPLIN, Mo. – Freeman Health System is getting ready to care for kids in a little bit different capacity.

The health system today (June 3rd), cut the ribbon for their new Learning Center — a daycare that’s specifically for employees’ kids.

“It’s very difficult in normal circumstances to find good quality daycare. It’s even more difficult now obviously in the midst of COVID,” says Freeman President and CEO Paula Baker. “So, the timing on this is actually very good.”

The multi-million dollar facility is located at 3606 S. Indiana, just down the street from Freeman East. They initially will be taking kids between 6 weeks old and 5 years old, with plans to expand up to 12-year-olds. It has specially designed rooms for each age, two outdoor play areas, secure check-in and automatically locking doors, and a full storm shelter incorporated into the infant nursery. Their current capacity is 90.

“This really removes some of the frustrations, the stress, and the worry that parents have,” says Baker.

But it’s more than just a daycare. Freeman is incorporating The Creative Curriculum, so kids can learn in a fun way — even the babies.

“We want to make sure that when these kids go to school, other parents are like, ‘Where did you kid go? How do they know so much?'” says Learning Center Director Josh Sharp. “We want to get them prepped and above and beyond ready for kindergarten.”

Everyone at Freeman is excited about the new endeavor and hopes it will be a safe, convenient, and educational spot for nurses, doctors, and other staff to take their kids.

“We want this to be the best experience that they have throughout the day,” says Sharp.

“We’re gonna keep them very safe, very happy here,” adds Baker.

The center’s hours will be from 6 am to 8 pm. But Freeman is licensed to have the center opened 24 hours — something they might do in the future for employees who work overnight if the need arises.

Freeman also says their rates are competitive with other local daycares. For babies and infants, it’s $190 a week, which includes diapers and wipes.

For one-year-olds it’s $175 a week and includes diapers wipes and food.

For ages two and up, it’s $150 a week.