North Beach School District Partners with Tugboat Granny’s to Expand Availability of Young Child Daycare Openings
Thanks to the partnership between Tugboat Granny’s Childcare and the North Beach School District, more families in Ocean Shores now have access to quality licensed infant/ toddler care.
Tugboat Granny's Childcare at Ocean Shores Elementary School is the fulfillment of owner and director Linda Poplin’s long-time vision of serving the childcare needs for families through all age groups in the community.
“I have been serving childcare needs for families in the North Beach area since 1990 when I opened the Quinault Daycare Center in Taholah through a HUD grant acquired by the Quinault Nation,” Poplin proudly notes. “Over the years, I opened my family childcare program in Ocean Shores, which later expanded to Tugboat Granny's Childcare Center, serving 30 children.” The facility moved to a bigger building on Ocean Shores Boulevard in February, 2020, expanding service to 36 children, but still couldn’t provide infant care due to space limitations, Ms. Poplin explains.
The larger childcare facility continues to operate, and the addition of the Ocean Shores Elementary facility has expanded the number of children Tugboat Granny’s can serve by up to 16 children, from birth to 36 months of age.
One of the biggest challenges in managing a rural/remote school district is finding ways to support all of our district employees, Superintendent Kelly reflected. “The absence of childcare for our youngest ‘future Hyaks’ presents a tremendous challenge in recruiting and retaining staff. I'm so thankful for Linda's willingness to partner with the district to make this dream a reality, meeting the needs of our staff and our community.”
The need was confirmed by how quickly openings in the childcare have been snapped up. Open just a month, the new childcare center has already filled all five infant care slots. There are still openings for five toddlers between the ages of one and 2.5 years.
North Beach Middle School Science Teacher Lauren Richardson is among NBSD staff who are grateful for the availability of infant care. “Before this option became available, we had no idea what we were going to do for childcare when our baby was born because there were no options close by for infant care.”
“When we drop him off, our son is happy and excited to see the wonderful people who work there. We are so grateful to know that he is being well taken care of while we are at work,” Richardson adds.
Wendy McCoy, assistant principal at North Beach Middle/High School, has used Tugboat Granny’s for childcare for much of her children’s early years. “I appreciate the care that Linda Poplin and her team of caregivers have provided. Leaving my children in their care was just like leaving them with family. My children were cared for and loved while there, and as my children have grown, they remember their good times. I am not sure what we would have done without them,” Ms. McCoy says.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held during the NBSD School Board Meeting at Ocean Shores Elementary School on April 20, 2021. Ms. Poplin and Ocean Shores Elementary Principal Rhonda Ham jointly cut the ribbon.
“I am proud and humbled to continue meeting parents’ needs with love, nurturing and developmental programs as we have done for the past 31 years,” says Ms. Poplin.