Published September 3rd, 2021 at 11:00 AM
A local couple with a heart for serving Kansas City’s east side is fulfilling their promise to provide more high quality and accessible child care.
Penny Dale-McCant opened The Kiddie Depot in 2005. Seven years later, Dale-McCant and her husband Myron McCant turned her home-based child care business into a 3,000-square-foot, 24-hour child care center with a lengthy waiting list.
This year, the couple is taking things a step further with their new multimillion dollar KD Academy child care facility. Though the building is state-of-the-art, their purpose remains the same as when Dale-McCant opened The Kiddie Depot over 15 years ago with just a handful of kids.
“Our responsibility here, along with our staff’s responsibility, is to do whatever it takes,” McCant said. “Those families, they’ve got to go to work. Those babies need a good place to come to. They need love, they need education and they need nutrition.”
What sets KD Academy apart from other child care facilities is the fact that it’s open 24 hours a day. Once the McCants saw the overwhelming need for child care in underserved communities where many parents worked nights, they knew that they had to find a way to extend their hours.
KD Academy also is doing more than simply occupying the kids while their parents are at work. Part of their mission is to use literacy and interactive STEM programs to catch up kids who might be lagging behind in school.
One of the most difficult parts of running KD Academy, Myron McCant said, was having to turn away opportunities. That is how he refers to the children and families on their waiting list. When the new facility opens, the couple looks forward to being a home away from home for more kids than ever before.
Catherine Hoffman covers community affairs and culture for Kansas City PBS in cooperation with Report for America. Cody Boston is a video producer for Kansas City PBS.