Lacey (Martens) Cooper, who lived in De Smet until the age of nine, owns two daycare facilities in Tea — Super Titans Childcare Center, which serves children from age 3-school age, and Early Explorers, which just opened this spring.
Cooper and Early Explorers director Kelly Irvin will soon open a third daycare, Early Explorers II, in De Smet. The center will be in a building purchased through the SD Governor’s House program designed for daycare facilities and will be located on the corner of First Street and Joliet Avenue.
Although they plan to hire local people to fill director and staff positions, Cooper and Irvin plan to spend a lot of time getting the new facility up and going, making frequent visits to De Smet.
Irvin worked in childcare for 21 years before joining Early Explorers. She and her husband Todd, also a De Smet native, have four children, twin daughters Lily and Ariel and sons Ryker and Kasen.
Cooper provided daycare in her home for 10 years before opening Super Titans about three and a half years ago. She has three children, Dalton, Aspen and Beckham.
Providers will be able to care for up to 21 children in the building, which is scheduled to be delivered in December. However, if there is a need for more childcare and enough staff is available, the women said there is enough room on the lot to put up a second building.
Cooper and Irvin are still working out a schedule and tuition rate, but they plan to start a Facebook page and website to answer questions and begin preregistering children. They can be reached via email at email@example.com.
The property where the center will be located was donated to the De Smet Development Corporation by Wendel Schubloom.