Ashley Lindstrom is the founder of Whistle Stop Learning Center, a new child care center coming to Thompsonville.  Ashley has partnered with United Way of NW Michigan but plans on Whistle Stop becoming a non-profit on its own.
Ashley explained that child care is few and far between in the Benzie area, especially in the Thompsonville corner of the county. With a capacity of around 50 children (from toddlers to school age) Whistle Stop will have a positive impact on both students and parents within the community.
Whistle Stop is slated for opening September 2022, with hours from 6:30 am - 6:00 pm Monday through Friday.  Anticipated staffing needs include 5-6 full-time and 5-6 part-time/on-call staff members. Whistle Stop will be licensed through the State of Michigan and Great Start to Quality star rated.
Ashley's vision for Whistle Stop aside from child care is broad:
  • Connect families to local area resources they may need
  • Sponsor a local baby pantry.
  • Host community and family engagement events.
  • Host "parents night out" events.
  • Work with local businesses to allow children to learn about their community and opportunities within it.
In terms of opening the business many steps have already been taken, including fire marshal and state licensing approval upon completion of renovations. Quotes have been obtained for all necessary renovations, with the demolition of existing non-compliant spaces under way.
How can one help?
  • Spread awareness of Whistle Stop Learning and support its need.
  • Spread the word as to Whistle Stop's need for the donation of materials, labor and money. A breakdown of specific equipment needed at this time is found here.
  • Share Whistle Stop's vision and mission to help get this project up and running.
Ashley's PowerPoint presentation is available here.