ST. JOSEPH -- A St. Joseph day care center is about to get a lot busier.

Little Saints Academy, located at 124 1st Avenue Southeast, has reached an agreement to take on 32 children and between 8-10 full and part-time staff members from Edu-Care Child Care and Preschool in Waite Park.

Edu-Care, located at 108 6th Avenue North, is owned and operated by St. Joseph Parish. The Parish recently decided to use the space for something other than childcare.

Little Saints owner Amy Bonfig says, when her staff learned the news, they wanted to find a way to help. Bonfig says 29 children from Little Saints entered kindergarten in September, freeing up space for new students.

"There are 30-plus kids (at Edu-Care) who wouldn't have childcare. So, we wondered if we could step in. We had to change some licensing around, but we have room for all of their children, and are able to hire all of their staff."

Bonfig says, by the time Edu-Care parents received the news on Monday, a transition plan had been created.

"As a parent, I would fear getting that call. By the time they got that call, there was a plan in place for them. So far, the feedback we've gotten from the parents and staff has been very positive. They're grateful for a place to go, and for their kids to have safe care."

Little Saints Academy has about 10,000 square feet of classroom space, along with a gymnasium. They'll be welcoming the former Edu-Care children on Dec. 16 .

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