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Local grandmother operates neighborhood daycare center

DCN Reporter

Pat Alvar is a grandmother of nine who runs the “Kid Patch? daycare center out of her home on 5th Avenue and 6th Street in Duluth’s Central Hillside. She is licensed for 14 children and works alone.

“I’ve been in the business for so long,? Alvar says. “I love working with children.?

“I started Kid Patch six years ago,? Alvar says. “But I have been involved with daycare for 30 years now.?
She watches the children of families who live around the Central Hillside.

“Half of them are my grandkids,? Alvar says with a laugh.

Alvar works to make sure that the children she watches follow her rules and stay safe.

“One of my main rules for them is no fighting. Kids don’t hurt each other,? Alvar says.

She has a small retaining wall in front of her house which used to get vandalized often. What used to be vulgar words and dirty pictures are now stick figures of children playing.

“I decided that if someone’s going to write on my wall, it’s going to be me,? Alvar says. “So one day I went out there and spray painted my wall so that it has nice things on it.?

Toys litter the floor at Alvar’s home. She says that all the toys were either donated to her or she bought them herself.

“Every year, I buy something new for the kids,? Alvar says. “Sometimes it lasts the entire year and sometimes it doesn’t.?

Alvar also takes the children out on field trips with one of the trips they often make being to the home Roger Hill who owns many reptiles and amphibians.

“Their favorite is Roger,? Alvar says.

“I let the kids see the lizards, they love it,? Hill explains.

“It’s fun to see the excitement in the kids’ eyes,? says Hill who works as a recreational coordinator at the Grant Community Center.

Alvar is active with the children she watches and along with taking them to see Hill, she brings them to movies and to the park.

“It’s always nice to get them out of the house,? Alvar says.

Mandy Miller says it’s nice to have someone she can trust to watch her kids.

Miller is Alvar’s daughter and also uses Kid Patch for her children.

“She loves these kids,? Miller says. “She’s a loving person and she’s not in it for the money. She just cares about the kids.?

Michelle Laughman also uses Kid Patch as a daycare for her kids.

“My kids have been going there for six years now and they love it there,? Laughman says.

Alvar feels connected to the kids she watches.

“I’m like their unofficial grandma. I’ve had most of these kids since they were in diapers.?