The Downstream Learning Center opened March 30 just behind Downstream Casino Resort’s employee parking lot. The 12,000-square-foot facility will provide services to children of employees from 6 weeks of age to 12 years old.
“Our whole team of 1,100 employees has grown very close and we feel like a family. This is something we really wanted to do especially for our single parents, because we know how hard it can be these days,” John Berrey, chairman of the Downstream Development Authority of the Quapaw Tribe, said in a press release.
The facility has seven classrooms, a resource center for parents and guardians and a kitchen, where staff will prepare healthy meals. There is also an outdoor playground and storm shelter.
While the shelter isn’t free, it is offered to employees at a discounted rate and isn’t intended to make money for the Quapaw Tribe, which owns the casino and learning center.
In September 2010, JoOuita Smith, Quapaw Tribe childcare programs director, told the Joplin Tri-State Business Journal that the center would employ about 40 people and have room for 300 children. She also said the program would offer three meals a day, before- and after-school programs and a pre-kindergarten program
Fifteen new team members recently started at the learning center and enrollment began March 30. More employees will be hired as enrollment increases.
The learning center is also available to Quapaw Tribe members.