Day Care Serving Iowa Falls for Over 25 Years Receives Special Donation

posted on Thursday, March 3, 2022

We kicked off our fourth day of deliveries at a beautiful in-home day care in Iowa Falls. Chaeli welcomed us into her home, gave us a heartfelt introduction to all the little ones she looked after and shared why she chose to be a child care provider. It’s no surprise that Chaeli was able to share her story so passionately – she’s been caring for Iowa Falls kids and families for over 25 years.

“Chaeli goes out of her way to invest in different learning and growth activities,” said Taylor, a supporter of the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation. “She provides many books, puzzles and learning toys for kids of each age. Chaeli truly loves all of her child care kiddos and has been a provider for over 25 years. While we worked through the pandemic, she was an essential worker to keep our kids safe and healthy. We can’t do it without her, and we are so thankful to have her in our lives.”

Because of her dedication to her kids and their families, Chaeli was nominated for the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation’s newest Henry’s Heroes initiative–the Little Farmer Toy Box project. She received a colorful toy box for her day care filled with farming-inspired books, toys and learning materials uniquely curated for 1-to-4-year-old children.

“For me, it’s about teaching the kids that I watch and building that foundation early on,” said Chaeli. “This gift allows me to teach children that all their delicious food doesn't magically appear on their plate. It’s about the importance of planting crops and caring for and raising farm animals. I love to teach my kids, so a donation like this means the world to me and allows me to continue to do what I love to do.”

As we unpacked toys and listened to the kids’ giggles of excitement, Chaeli shared how she strives to make learning, reading and fostering creativity a part of their daily routine.
“Some days can be long, but I put a lot of effort into doing this, and I wouldn’t want to do anything else with my days but help raise kids to be great people,” she said.

Although it may not be easy, Chaeli and other child care providers are essential to families and kids across our Homegrown Iowa communities.

“People like Chaeli are part of the reason the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation chooses to give back to day cares in our community through the Henry’s Heroes program,” said Ali Kraber, a representative of the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation. “She strives to do the absolute best by providing education and creativity to give the kids a good head start. We couldn’t thank her enough for the dedication, time and work she gives all the little ones who walk into her home.”
Iowa Falls has recently seen a significant drop in reliable day cares, and those in operation often have waitlists. When people like Chaeli are willing to open their homes to make sure little ones are safe and cared for while their parents work, we can never say thank you enough.

Henry’s Heroes was launched in 2019 as an official Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation program. Inspired by Henry Johnson–Jeff and Deb Hansen’s first grandchild and the son of Natalie and Jake Johnson–each year, his parents identify a new project aimed at helping children and those organizations like Chaeli’s day care who protect, serve, foster, educate, and develop our youngest of Iowans.

a young girl holds agriculture toys

#HenrysHeroes2022 #LittleFarmerToyBox