New daycare facility to open in Downtown Duluth Monday

Emily Ness
Updated: August 02, 2020 05:38 PM

When the sun rises on Monday morning, Shelly Vanneste’s dream of opening up a preschool in Downtown Duluth will have come true.

“Visiting Chicago or Minneapolis or even L.A. and seeing some programs within the metro area—area’s like that. I had that dream,” Vanneste said.

The dream was founded on determination and brought to fruition despite unprecedented times.

“Maybe, five years from now, they’ll say: ‘Wow, you started during a pandemic,’” Vanneste said.

The daycare has been in the works for some time. Back in March, Vanneste applied for a loan through Duluth’s 1200 Fund and just last week, she learned that she was a recipient.

City Councilor Arik Forsman, who serves as a board member of Duluth’s 1200 Fund, said childcare is an important part of a healthy, thriving economy.

“We have such a need here in Duluth,” Forsman said. “Shelly was the first provider I talked with about the new 1200 Fund program last fall and so it’s really neat personally to see her new location in Downtown Duluth come forward.”

While Vanneste said being a recipient means a lot no matter what, it means even more now as she works to fill her day care, despite many parents working from home.

“The funding I was able to use to purchase all the furniture and materials and then the rest will be used for expenses over the next four to five months not being at full capacity” Vanneste said.

Although the daycare is not at full capacity yet, Vanneste said Mesabi Preschool LLC is still safely welcoming children.

Vanneste’s new facility is located on 26. E Superior St. 


Emily Ness

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