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Planning Commission: Downtown daycare proposed

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    A daycare is being proposed in downtown Crookston, in the portable classroom near the corner of Fourth Street and North Broadway that was most recently home to New Paths Area Learning Center for many years.

    Janelle and Mark Berhow have requested a conditional use permit, which the City of Crookston Planning Commission will consider when they meet Tuesday night. Interim City Administrator Angel Weasner, in the meeting memo/agenda, is recommending the permit be approved. Weasner cites the shortage of licensed child care in Crookston in recommending approval of the permit.

    Janelle Berhow is a longtime member of the Crookston Times staff and is currently the multimedia sales manager. She has previous child care experience; she ran a home daycare from 2000 to 2006.

    She tells the Times that they need to close on the purchase of the building and it needs various updates and renovations, including the addition of a kitchen, new windows and doors. Berhow says she’d like to open in January. Given that’s the middle of winter, fencing, exterior painting and a playground space on the property would have to wait until spring, she adds.

    One licensed child care provider is allowed to have 12 kids. That includes one infant, one toddler under the age of 2, 8 under school age and two school-age children. Berhow has visions of growth in a year or two, with an eye on potentially adding staff and expanding the operation’s hours to include evenings and Saturdays. That would involve hiring another full-time provider and part-time staff as well.

    “Time will tell,” Berhow says.