KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If you are a parent, you know how challenging it can be to find child care that meets your family's needs.
For those parents who don't work a typical 9 to 5 job, it can be nearly impossible.
A Kansas City, Missouri, 24-hour child care and early learning center is helping families with the struggle.
The bright and colorful KD Academy is a lifesaver for parents like Shunquita and James Hogue, who both light up when they talk about their 2-year-old son, James II.
"He's fun, he's full of personality," James Hogue said.
Without KD Academy, the Hogues wouldn't have a place for baby James to go while they work as after school youth directors.
The job requires the couple to work as late as 10 p.m. some nights.
Before KD Academy opened in Sept. 2021, they considered switching careers as they struggled to find child care.
"Most of the time the day cares were closing at 6 p.m., and we needed just a little bit more time at work," Shunquita Hogue said.
As a 24-hour child care facility, co-owner Myron McCant said the academy focuses on education, nutrition and most importantly, love.
"We want to show the children how much we love them, we want the families to know that we love their children," McCant said.
McCant and his wife opened the center at 2141 Prospect Avenue. It sits in an under served community where families may face a variety of barriers when it comes to accessing child care.
The academy provides state assistance for families who don't meet a certain income threshold.
While it's only been open less than a year, the center is in high demand.
"We've already developed a waiting list, one because of our room capacity and two, I've got to be honest, the other waiting list is developed because of workforce," McCant said.
The academy currently serves about 175-180 families, but a staffing shortage prevents them from being at full capacity. The massive facility has a footprint to serve more than 400.
The Hogues said they feel at ease leaving their son with the academy's workers who incorporate creative curriculum to set the little ones up for a life of success.
It gives them peace of mind, allows them to be their best selves at work and lets them keep a career they're passionate about.
"We love what we do, but we love our son even more, and so we had to figure out how would that work, and KD Academy came at the right time," James Hogue said.