The Summerland Advocate-Messenger - Reliable, Trustworthy Reporting, Capturing The Heartbeat Of Our Community

By Matthew Hansen

Small-town kids deserve to thrive, too: How one Nebraska town created a child care miracle


December 10, 2020

Courtesy photo Nebraska Community Foundation

Thriving • Stevie Messersmith, a young student at The Valley Child Development Center, works in the center's edible schoolyard, which is located next to two outdoor classrooms.

Kelsey Carlson calls me from the road, as she drives the quiet ribbon of highway connecting the hospital where she works to the small-town child care that has changed her life.

Not long ago, when her daughter, Avery, went to a different child care, Kelsey would sob while driving to pick her up. She worried her daughter wasn't safe. She dreaded the thought that Avery was planted in front of a TV. She cried because she felt terrified she was failing at work and failing her child.

Today, as Kelsey drives to pick up her daughter, her fear has vanished. A year ago, the Carlsons moved Avery to Th...

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