Much Needed New Daycare Center Opening in Grand Marais

Available child care is often one of the reasons cited when discussing the difficulties in recruiting people to fill jobs in Cook County. To help with that, Hunter MacLaurin is setting up a home-based childcare business in Grand Marais and she hopes to be open before school starts this year.

“I wanted to open a daycare because I, myself, know how difficult it is to find childcare in the county,” Hunter said. “Also I personally love kids! They bring so much joy to my life.”

Hunter is the mom of three daughters, Pyper (7), Ariella (6), and Teagan (2).

Hunter, a graduate of Cook County High School in Grand Marais in 2012, was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Her mother immigrated to Illinois when Hunter was seven years old. They moved to Lutsen, MN in 2007.

As Hunter was preparing her new business, she retained the services of Cook County resident and community leader Pat Campanaro. Pat is a business consultant with the Northland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Cook County area. She has worked with numerous local small businesses, helping them with everything from business planning and startup to adopting appropriate policies for pandemic response.

“The regulations for daycare aren’t that bad,” Hunter said. “But it’s definitely a longer process.”

Hunter credits Pat with getting her through the bureaucracy and red tape. “I probably wouldn’t have been this far in the process without her,” she said.

Hunter plans to focus on care for infants and toddlers. Her planned activities for those in her care are Montessori based, with an emphasis on self-directed activities and hands-on learning.

Still waiting for the licensing process to complete, Hunter hopes to be open by September 6. Her hours will be 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

“The license I applied for allows for me to have up to six kids,” she said. She chose that license to keep the number of kids low enough for the first year to avoid being overwhelmed while she fixes any challenges that might occur.

Hunter has adopted a comprehensive Covid strategy for her business and she doesn’t think that Covid will present a problem for her or her charges.

Parents seeking child care may contact Hunter by email at or by text at 218-576-9911