Stepping Stones Montessori Learning Center plans to build a daycare in Shawnee

Stepping Stones Montessori Learning Center
Stepping Stones Montessori Learning Center will build a daycare at 12310 W. 62nd Terrace in Shawnee.

Stepping Stones Montessori Learning Center is building a new daycare in Shawnee.

The daycare, to be located at 12310 West 62nd Terrace, will accommodate 100 children.

Shawnee staff indicated in its report that the building, between Westlake Ace Hardware and 63 West office complex, was the former location of a home and office security business.

The learning center will add a 6-foot privacy fence around 3,945 square feet of area to the north and west of the building for an outdoor playground. The daycare’s hours will be between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays.

Steve Fisher, owner of Stepping Stones Real Estate LLC, had filed the application for a special use permit to operate a daycare in the lot. The Shawnee council unanimously approved the permit during its Monday meeting.

City staff reported that Stepping Stones Real Estate is applying for a child care license with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Fisher said the company is still working to find a contractor and architect, so there’s no official start date. However, he is hoping to open the daycare and begin enrollment by April 2019.

Stepping Stones Real Estate’s application for a bank loan is also pending approval before it secures the building. If they cannot obtain it, they will look elsewhere in Shawnee because there is a demand in the area for their services, Fisher said.

“We’re anxious to open a business at this location or in the Shawnee vicinity because it is in need of a facility,” Fisher said. “All of the current facilities are booked out a year or more. Some of them are booked out two years in advance — all daycares, not just Montessori — so there’s such a high need for this type of industry.”

Fisher said Montessori is a method of teaching where children learn by doing as opposed to learning by reading. It’s more hands on, learning by exploration.

City staff indicated in its report that the existing driveway and parking lot are already set up as a convenient drop-off and pick-up of children at the front of the building.

A daycare of the same name in Liberty, Mo., is not associated with the new learning center in Shawnee.