Day care center in mall takes kids off parents’ hands

Mesa Mall shoppers won’t have to go far to find someone to watch their kids as they peruse presents this holiday season.

Covenant Child Care opened Nov. 17 in the Target wing of the mall. Parents can leave their children at the center for up to three hours a day as long as the parents stay on mall premises. The fee is $10 an hour.

Toby Axelsson, owner of Covenant Homes, started the child care center with Micah Berg, a youth pastor at Church on the Rock. Both men noticed a need for more child care options in the Grand Valley and decided to open a Montessori preschool and day care called Covenant Child Care in January 2010. They decided to advertise the day care, which will open at the start of the year near G and 25 1/2 roads, in a storefront at Mesa Mall.

When they found out the cost of advertising in a storefront is the same as renting a store, Axelsson and Berg decided to open a mall version of Covenant Child Care for the holidays. They’ll remain open in the mall until New Year’s Eve.

“The mall is the launching pad,” Axelsson said.

The care center is open whenever the mall is open, which means an early start at 4 a.m. Friday.

Parents must fill out an information form about their child and write the child’s name and a cell phone number for the parent on a tag before leaving the care center.

Employees will scan the parent’s driver’s license to ensure the right person picks up the child.

The center does not offer food, but it has plenty to keep kids entertained, including watching “Veggie Tales” cartoons on a TV, playing with toys, reading books, listening to a book on tape, and writing a letter to Santa.

There are different rooms for different age groups and a mix of new and more experienced child care professionals.

“We’ve hired quite a few grandmas and teenagers,” Axelsson said.


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