Meet the New LCO Child Care Center Director: Marie Wooten
By Joe Morey
Marie Wooten was recently hired as the first director of the new LCO Child Care Center, which was built in just a few months last fall under Covid Relief funding.
In a recent interview with LCO News, she explained they are scrambling for CDA-certified lead teachers, which at least one is needed for each classroom. They are currently applying for licensing and if achieved by June they could be open at that time, provided they have qualified teachers in place.
“Anyone interested in child care can apply and we are willing to train them,” Marie said. She noted they have 13 total classrooms, but not all of them will be in use early on until they are needed.
Scroll down for Job Listings for the new child care center.
Marie said prices for the child care center will be comparable to other day care centers in the area. She added it would be a flat rate regardless of the child’s age.
“We also want everyone to know that we are open to everyone in the community, not just tribal members,” Marie noted.
As of right now, the current hours will be 7 am to 6 pm, but they will add an evening shift if there is a demand for it. She did note there seems to be a lot of interest in that shift adding that no other day cares do an evening shift.
“We are here to serve our families because there is a huge need for day care so they can work,” Marie said. “Many of our community members are prevented from working because of the lack of child care. We’ll be able to have 188 children per shift but we do need teachers.”
Marie said they have received a lot of applications for other positions. She noted that teacher assistants don’t need the CDA certification.
Marie is life-long resident and tribal member here at Lac Courte Oreilles graduating from LCO High School in 2010. She is a former teacher at the LCO Headstart where she worked with every age group. She has a degree in social work and is going back for her Associates in Child Care at the LCO Ojibwe College.
“I’m excited because this is a brand new program and I am part of a great team of people involved in this project,” Marie stated. “I’m just so excited to work with the people in our community and all the families we’ll serve.”
Marie also stated this is a learning experience for her as she has never been a director. She noted she is up to the challenge and, “I know it’s going to be a lot of work but I’m willing to do what it takes.”
Marie acknowledged the LCO Tribal Governing Board that they have been very helpful in making sure the child care center has everything they need to get started.
Marie also acknowledged Bonnie Beaudin as the consultant on the whole project who got the whole project up and running and was responsible setting up the classrooms. She also acknowledged Melissa Kagigebi who’s child care subsidy program helped fund the classroom equipment and toys.