It Takes a Village - Child Care Success Story

July 6, 2020

When you’re discussing a premier senior living retirement community, you don’t typically think of high-quality child care, but in 2019, Waterloo-based Friendship Village made the two synonymous.

“It’s interesting because it’s the opposite end of life,” said Dave Holm, director of development for Friendship Village Foundation. “It seems like they’re very different, but there are similarities.”

Friendship Village CEO Lisa Gates had the vision. The need was two-fold. The organization wanted to help close the gap in quality child care in the Cedar Valley, and its staff had a need for 24/7 child care.

“A year ago, Friendship Village opened a child care center unique in that when we are fully operational, we will be open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. More than that, we provide an intergenerational experience for our resident family and our children at It Takes A Village Childcare,” said Lisa. “This has been a vision of mine for 15 years–to offer child care for our employees and the Cedar Valley as a whole.”

The interaction between seniors at Friendship Village and children at the child care has been “extremely beneficial to both generations in a very effective way,” according to Dave. The 24-hour care for staff also eliminates additional stress and burden and provides benefits to Friendship Village.

“Our partnership with the Community Foundation has helped to realize this dream and provide a wonderful and enriching experience to both child and senior alike,” said Lisa.“We see the Community Foundation as our partner, and we see them as a voice for the nonprofit sector of the Cedar Valley. It’s meaningful through the dollars. It’s meaningful beyond the dollars,” added Dave.