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Opening Northern Hills Child Care: A Journey of Determination and Community

In 2020, The Well’s leadership team recognized the profound impact inconsistent child care had on our clients’ recovery and team members’ ability to work. As part of our commitment to fostering a supportive community, we identified the Northern Hills building in Norfolk as an ideal location for our new child care program. Little did we know that the path to realizing this dream would have several hurdles, but our unwavering commitment to serving the needs of our community prevailed.

The Need for Consistent Child Care

The decision to incorporate child care into our strategic plan was driven by a desire to make a tangible difference in the lives of our clients and team members. Understanding the critical role consistent child care plays in fostering a conducive work environment and aiding the recovery process, our leadership team set out to find a suitable location in Norfolk. The Northern Hills building emerged as the perfect canvas for our vision—a space that would not only serve our immediate community but the young families of the greater Norfolk area.

Navigating Hurdles

With the intention of providing reliable child care services, our board of directors and leadership team faced a series of road bumps on the path to reopening the Northern Hills building. Securing funding to purchase the building, gaining support from local leaders, and patiently waiting for state licensure approval were just a few of the challenges we encountered. The perseverance of our team and the support of the community guided us through these obstacles.

A Transformative Journey

May 2023 marked a pivotal moment in our journey as we successfully purchased the Northern Hills building. Through strategic planning, determination, and community support, we turned an empty space into a learning center for little humans in Norfolk. Under the leadership of our Child Care Director, Kara Kratochvil, the Northern Hills Child Care program officially opened its doors in November 2023.

The Inclusive Mission

At the heart of Northern Hills Child Care lies a mission rooted in the values of attachment-based care and child-led learning. Kara Kratochvil succinctly captures this ethos, stating, “The mission of Northern Hills Child Care is to nurture the complete development, well-being, and education of children. We are dedicated to offering an inclusive and secure environment where each child can bloom into their own unique self.” This mission serves as our guiding light, ensuring that every child who walks through our doors experiences a safe space of care and support.


Our initiative to reopen Northern Hills as a child care facility reflects the dedication that our team has for meeting the diverse needs of our community of Northeast Nebraska.

Northern Hills is not just a building; it’s a symbol of hope, support, and the boundless potential that unfolds when a few people with a little bit of passion come together with a shared vision.

For more information on child care services from Northern Hills, go to their website here!