Energy Capital Cooperative Child Care open house held May 15

An open house was held for interested members of the community to view the New Bethel Center.
Two children play together at Energy Capital Cooperative's open house.
Phillip Seiler (left) and Justice Fulcher enjoy the toys at Energy Capital Cooperative's open house.

About 70 people, from infants to senior citizens, visited the new child care center May 15 in Hazen, ND.

Basin Electric, together with seven other employers in Mercer County and support from the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, formed Energy Capital Cooperative Child Care to address the child care deficiency in Mercer County. The center will be known as New Bethel Center, named after its location, the former New Bethel Congregational Church.

Attendees included members of the child care center’s board of directors, employees, and its director, Dana Santini; families who are enrolled; interested community members; the media; and former parishioners of the New Bethel church.

“This was a great opportunity for us to show anyone who was interested the new daycare center and answer any questions they had about the center and what it took to start it,” said Erin Huntimer, Basin Electric project coordinations representative for Basin Electric and the child care center’s board president. “We are so proud of this project and excited for it to get up and running.”

New Bethel Center will operate as a cooperative and families whose children attend the center and businesses who support it will be its members.

The child care center, which is scheduled to be open within the next 30 days, will be licensed for 77 full-time children ages infant to 12 years. It will be at about half capacity when it opens. Basin Electric/Dakota Gasification Company has 14 guaranteed spots at the facility.