Nisse Treehouse - Darcy Thorson

“It’s pajama day today!” she says, pointing to her cozy holiday attire.

Meet Darcy Thorson, owner and director of Nisse Treehouse Child Care and Preschool in Spring Grove. It was the week before Christmas, and Darcy had a number of fun things planned for the children. Just down the hall, a group of giddy 3-year olds get ready to make the two-block walk down the street to the Spring Grove Cinema for a holiday movie. Bundled up in their winter clothes, they excitedly waddle down the hall and out the door.

The decision to start Nisse Treehouse began with her own personal story; as a mother of three young children, it has been difficult to secure high-quality care for them—especially amidst a major childcare shortage in the region. “Finding daycare has always been a struggle for my family,” said Darcy, citing issues such as in-home care’s unpredictable hours, lack of access to preschool, and lengthy daily daycare commutes.

Darcy is a Spring Grove native, and after living away from the community for years, she recently moved back. When she made the decision to return and open her own in-home daycare, every spot was filled before she even got back to town. The need was greater than she originally thought, and she got to work on the planning and licensing process for building a new child care center. The Spring Grove Economic Development Authority helped Darcy secure grants and financing to purchase land adjacent to Spring Grove Public School and complete construction on the new facility, which features an infant room, preschool classrooms, a commercial kitchen, and a dance studio. The community came together to celebrate this new community asset when Nisse Treehouse opened in fall 2016.

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Story by Courtney Bergey