A Biloxi child care program is back home

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A child care program that was virtually wiped-out by Katrina has made a remarkable recovery. After losing six structures in the storm Moore Community House moved temporarily into a Biloxi school. The program is finally back home.

Carol Burnett, the director of Moore Community House said, "The joyful sounds of children playing and learning have returned to this East Biloxi neighborhood."

"Yes, it was quiet for far too long, and it's great, it's great to have our facilities filled with children again," Burnett said. "It took three years to bring this child care program back to Walker Street."

"It was so wonderful to be able to come back to our space, and to have something rebuilt on our property, finally that we could bring the children back to," Burnett said.

Of the seven structures on the property only one building a former church survived Katrina's surge. Thanks to volunteers and generous donations the structure was gutted and converted into classrooms.

"You can see it's a very different place today, we're very pleased with how far we've come on this building," Burnett said.

The program offers free or subsidized child care to working parents of low-income families. Currently 70 children are enrolled. Soon, the capacity will grow.

Construction has started on two other buildings, one is a Child Development Center and the other an early Head Start building.

"When the two new facilities are completed, we'll have the ability to enroll 110, so we're very excited about expanded capacity to serve families in this area," Burnett said.

The progress means more parents can get affordable child care and babies get a jump start on their education.

Construction on the two new education buildings should take about ten months. Once the children move out of the old church building it will be used as a community center.