While raising her first four children, JoAnna Hagen noticed the need for more flexible day care facilities. Seeing the need and, with her own experience in child care, Hagen started a 24-hour day care service named Bedtime Stories.
The facility, currently ran from Hagen’s home, looks after about 63 children. Not all stay there full time, although children are free to stay as long as needed. Whether it be due to a parent who works out of the area or who will be gone for long periods of time, Bedtime Stories is there with open doors and arms for their children.
“We help anybody we can,” Hagen expressed in regards to her clientele. “As long as we can do our job so the parents can do their job and are successful; that’s all that matters. Their kids are safe with us.”
Hagen has been helping families for ten years and is now expanding to to a new facility located at the corner of 100 North and 200 East and will also start operating under a new name. The new facilities will prove useful to Hagen and her team as they care for children both with their 24-hour day care service as well as a pre-school, early development and after school program.
“Working with our resources is great,” Hagen admitted. She also works with other programs similar to the day care service to provide care for children if their facilities cannot accommodate the child in question.
Hagen truly works with the children in mind, putting their needs and desires first and making sure they feel loved and cared for.
“We treat them like they’re our own kids,” she explained. Hagen also related how, after a significant time in her services, two students were taken out of their home by the state. The state then approached her and asked if she would adopt them, to which she agreed.
“We want them to have some sort of structure,” she explained further in regards to a schedule, family dinners and activities for the children. Hagen also remembers one child who, suffering from severe autism, had been taken from facility to facility by his mother before being taken to Bedtime Stories. Hagen and her team were able to help the child who has been attending the facility now for three years.
Hagen explained how she and her team also can help parents by giving them hope in hard situations. For a parent attending drug court and other functions aimed toward the parent’s recovery, it can be daunting to find a place willing to look after a child caught in such a situation.
“We give them the best option,” Hagen explained. “Your kid is what matters.”
And they do matter to the Bedtime Stories team.
“You can’t fix everything for them,” Hagen said. “But you can try.”