Celebrating a Childcare Expansion Project

Officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate an expansion and renovation of Salina Catholic Schools Love N’ Learn Early Childhood Center.

Many areas across the country, including the Salina area, are experiencing a child-care crisis. Among other things facilities do not have enough staff, rooms, and space .

According to Joel Bicknell, Director of Development for Salina Catholic Schools, there are over a thousand childcare slots needed in Saline County.

Love N’ Learn is combating this problem by renovating and expanding its facility. Once complete there will be room for 120 full-time kids, with additional space for up 190.

The Salina Area United Way has led the way in dealing with the local childcare issue. The agency has secured $2.5 million, including $1.6 million for this project.

Love N’ Learn will have renovations for every room on the campus, updated security, and and install new playground equipment.

“I am just excited to have those extra spots, which will help fill that gap and make a positive impact,” says Jessica Jacobs who will be the Director of Love N’ Learn beginning July 1st.

Spots are being filled up quickly according to Jacobs. The agency has noticed 20-30 applicants per program from various age groups such as infants, toddlers, three-year old pre-k and four-year old pre-k.

Applications are now open for the opening of the center in August 2024.

Love N’ Learn will hold another open-house sometime in April. The exact day/time will be announced.

Love N’ Learn Early Childhood Center has been located on the Salina Catholic Schools campus for over 30 years.


Jessica Jacobs speaks as Joel Bicknell looks on.


To submit a childcare application, go to https://www.stmarysalina.org/ – click on the “Love N Learn” tab – click on “how to enroll” tab – click on the link to fill out the “inquire form.”