Alicia Magsamen’s six-year, on-again off-again search for a location to operate a daycare has finally come to fruition, as her and husband Jaron Magsamen have become the new owners of Ducky Daycare in Monticello.
They have added to the name – it is now Ducky Daycare and Preschool – to note the addition of a more structured pre-kindergarten curriculum that will start in early September.
In addition, before- and after-school services are coming back after being halted by former owners about three years ago.
“We’ve brought back that school-aged program, so before and after school, and then all day in the summer and all day on breaks. With that they’ll have a snack before and after school,” said Alicia Magsaman.
After leaving the employ of the University of Illinois facilities and services department to raise her family, Magsamen started looking for an opportunity to run a business that would keep her close to home.
She and Jaron looked at several buildings, but none really struck her as a place that could be easily converted into a daycare.
This past spring her business plan went into overdrive upon learning that Ducky owners Steve and Kathy Koss, who had owned it since it started in 1991, were selling.
A deal was done during the summer, a good time to plan for the fall when daycare needs increase for many families.
“I’m excited about it. It’s a little nerve-wracking to take on, but better knowing it’s up and running, and we’ve had a lot of people coming through the doors. And back to school helps,” she said.
The fact that the Clinton Community YMCA’s Y-Zone before- and after-school program was busting at the seams in its first year gives Magsamen hope there is plenty of room for another before- and after-school care provider.
Similarly, the Monticello school district routinely turns away students for it’s Small Wonders Preschool program, which maxes out at 65 students.
“We are starting a more structured preschool,” said Ducky Daycare Director Tara Bailey, who has been on the job since May.
Magasamen also likes the idea that the building will still be used to help local families and their children, noting there were non-daycare businesses interested in buying the structure.
“That’s one thing that drove me,” she said. “The thought of displacing about 60 kids was not appealing to me.”
Ducky’s Daycare and Preschool is located at 1755 N. Market St. in Monticello, and has about 16 employees. For more information on the business’ offerings, including pre-kindergarten and before- and after-school programs, call 217-762-2525.