Petersen starts a new chapter

Photo by Kathryn Wilkowski
Calicia Petersen and her son, Cooper, pose in their new daycare building in downtown New York Mills. 

By Kathryn Wilkowski


After having her first child, Cooper, Calicia Petersen opened a new daycare under the enrollment of Mahube-Otwa Head Start in New York Mills.  

“I wanted to do something where I could be with my son,” Petersen said. “I found the listing and loved the sound of it. He can stay with me and I can help low income families that can’t afford daycare.”

Prior to the preparation of opening the daycare, Petersen worked at the post office in Perham. The stress of leaving her baby at home caused her to look at other options to fulfill both her, and her son’s needs. 

“After applying, I liked the idea of helping the families that needed it the most,” she said. “Plus, the assistance that Mahube offers to new daycare providers is really nice. I didn’t have to spend a lot of money to get started.”

Mahube-Otwa Head Start is a non-profit organization that lends a helping hand to low income families who are unable to afford daycare. With free or greatly reduced daycare, they also focus their time on comprehensive education, school readiness, mental health, self-sufficiency, self-esteem, parent engagement, family services, health, dental, and nutrition needs.

“When families enroll with us, every family gets a family coach and that’s their cheerleader basically,” Jennifer Soule, Head Start Enrollment Manager said. “That’s the person who gets really close with the families and digs into their hopes and their dreams and helps break those down so that they’re reachable sooner. It’s not just daycare.”

Not only offering daycare assistance, Mahube-Otwa Community Action Partnership, Inc. also offers energy assistance, weatherization, housing, family health, and senior programs. 

For more information, visit to learn about what Mahube can offer. For enrollment, call (218) 847-1385 to apply.