Granite Falls will have a new childcare center opening next summer. Puddle Jumpers Learning Center LLP has just signed a lease with Minnesota West Community and Technical College to open a center on their campus. Puddle Jumpers is planning an expansion, increasing enrollment to serve eight infants, 12 toddlers, and 20 preschool children with the extra space.

Puddle Jumpers emphasizes self-experiences and community connections to nurture and enrich children’s lives. They aim to provide quality care to the families with young children and the members of the community.

The new learning center will be owned and operated by Jessica Busack and Emily Balfany. Busack was a 2002 graduate from Yellow Medicine East, and later obtained her Associates from Rasmussen College, studying Child Development. She has since worked full time as a preschool teacher in North Mankato, accumulating 15 years of experience so far.

Balfany graduated Yellow Medicine East in 2008. She then obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Southwest Minnesota State University. She also obtained a license in Parent Education from the University of Minnesota and a teaching license through the Minnesota Department of Education. She taught two years of elementary school before moving back to Granite Falls to teach preschool. She also coordinates the Early Childhood Program at Yellow Medicine East.

Puddle Jumpers is a childcare-based business focused on the importance of high quality early learning and development. An emphasis on child-driven learning based on interests and the environment around the children. The center plans to strive for community connections and relationships with the enrolled children.

Balfany said “As the old saying goes, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ and we want to provide the opportunity for the community to be able to make it possible for all the current and future children of our community to be provided with learning-rich and loving environments in this critical time of child development to help our youth reach their highest potential.”

All learning and development will be based off of curriculum that is age appropriate and accommodations will be made for each individual child’s needs. Busack said, “We are excited to provide this opportunity to our future generations in this community. I am looking forward to coming back home and serving our community and surrounding areas with what I have to offer.” Many details are still being worked out due to recent developments in establishing this new childcare center. They plan to apply for the childcare license through the State of Minnesota soon. More information and applications will be upcoming.