Early in 1971, a Four C’s Committee was organized by Mrs. Fred Donnell to develop programs for children in Decatur county. Day Care was suggested by Dr. Robert Acher as a service needed by local working parents. Through the efforts of Dr. Acher and Mrs. Donnell, who worked tirelessly for the project, a Center was opened.
Articles of Incorporation (Not for Profit) of the Decatur County Day Care Center were filed with the Secretary of State of Indiana by the Resident Agent, Robert Acher, M.D. in the fall of 1971. On December 6, 1971 the Office of the Secretary of State issued a Certificate of Incorporation to the Decatur County Day Care Center for the following purposes:
A. To conduct an educational program for children by providing learning experiences which will advance the quality of child development under the direction of an accredited teacher.
B. To provide comprehensive child care according to regulations by the Indiana State Department of Public Welfare.
C. To provide a well-balanced nutrition under the supervision of a qualified nutritionist
D. To provide counseling and guidance for the child and his family by a trained social worker.
A provisional license was issued on April 3, 1972 by the State Department of Public Welfare to the Decatur County Day Care Center, Inc. located in the Grace Lutheran Church on Highway 421 North. The licensed stated the number of children, ages three to five years, permitted to be cared for at any one time shall not exceed twenty. The first week three children were enrolled, but the second week thirteen children were attending.
A sliding scale was used with weekly fees being determined by family income and the number of children in a family.
The governing body of the Center is the Board of Directors. The first officers were: Dr. Acher, President; Marlice French, R.N., Vice President; William Witkemper, Secretary, and Louis Millman, CPA, treasurer. Mrs. Walter B. (Anna Paul) was the Nutritionist Consultant.
Due to increasing enrollment Center II was opened at the First Christian Church on North Broadway in October 1979 with a license for twenty-five children. Center I in the Grace Lutheran Church continues to operate with a license for thirty children.
In 1972, the Day Care Auxiliary was organized by a group of young mothers and the first chairman was Mrs. Thomas (Jan) Wespiser. This group sponsors an annual luncheon-bridge with proceeds given to the Centers to purchase needed equipment.
The Center grew and eventually was moved to a location on West Street in Greensburg. All of the children attended this one Center instead of the previous two.
In 1999, a beautiful new facility was built and opened for the children at its current location at 900 East Montgomery Road in Greensburg. The license of the new facility allows for the Center to care for 125 children ages six weeks through twelve years. This is the first time since the Day Care opened that care has been offered to infants and one year old toddlers.
The Center has a bus which transports children to North Decatur Elementary School. The Greensburg Community School Corporation provides bus transportation to the Greensburg Elementary School and St. Mary’s Catholic School. The Center also has a summer program for school age children and camps for the weeks of fall and Spring Break.
In 2000, the name of the Center was changed to improve the Center’s image and take away from the community perception that only children of low income could attend the Center’s programs. The name of Carousel Play and Learn Center was adopted due to the shape of the building.
Today, the Carousel Play and Learn Center maintains our licensed capacity for 125 children ages six weeks through twelve years.
In 2012, the Carousel Play and Learn Center became an official branch of the public library enabling children to check out and return books at Carousel.