New Day Care Helps Low-Income Families, Teen Moms - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/24/04

New Day Care Helps Low-Income Families, Teen Moms

Baby Kyle spends most of his day in the nursery at the Children's Learning and Care Center in East Biloxi. It opened last month, at the very site of a former a day care center.

Lynnise Jajo is the center co-director. She said "The area that we're in, there's not a day care. So we went ahead and purchased the property. As soon as we purchased it, within days, we had parents calling to enroll their children".

The 250-children enrolled at the center come from all backgrounds. But many, come from high-risk families.

Jajo said "The children that we have, a lot of them come from a lower income families. So we do offer the district and state programs to help the young, single parents".

Single mom Sarah Wertz is getting extra help. Sarah is seven-and-a-half months pregnant. Through the center's Parent Encounter Program, she's working and learning how to be a good mom.

Sarah Wertz said "It's giving me an idea of what's going on, what to expect, what to look forward to. It's getting me prepared for motherhood".

Jajo said "We train them how to work the job as a caregiver and in the same aspect, they're learning how to be a mother and tend to their first child. So we get better mothers and better workers".

New and veteran parents appreciate any extra support they can get. Jajo said "I've had a lot of people come up and say we're so grateful that you opened, because we're driving miles and miles away to get care".

The non-profit organization, The Hope Foundation, owns the facility. The Jajo's operate it. The center is on 279 Crawford Street. It's open 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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