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Inside the Death of a Rural Daycare

1 month ago   |   By Time

Tipton Adaptive Daycare is still filled with colorful plastic chairs, butterfly-adorned cubbies and star mobiles dangling above cribs. But most classrooms were empty of children this week, as the owner of the rural Tipton, Iowa, childcare center prepared to close her business permanently after more than seven years. “I gave up,” says Deborah VanderGaast, the director and founder.
At the heart of VanderGaast's struggle is a problem of basic economics. Even before the pandemic, Tipton Adaptive was only just breaking even. Before she closed, she was charging $175 per week for full-time infant...
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