We launched our first staffed network in the West Ward, where UVSO is headquartered, while facilitating cross-learning with the staffed network already launched by Clinton Hill in the South Ward. In addition, Newark Capacity, Access, and Resources for Early Success (Newark CARES), a staffed network, launched this month in the West Ward! We held the first meeting on November 17, 2022. Each Network Family Child Care provider will receive grant funds, intensive coaching, and peer learning opportunities for an entire year. The five NCN West Ward members are:
Beautiful Beginnings Child Care
A loss in the family forced Tanya Davis to give up her career and stay home with her child. Her sister owned a childcare center and asked Tanya to work with her. That was more than 19 years ago. Tanya found that she loved working with children and families. When she moved to a larger home, she decided to start her Family Child Care and began setting up Beautiful Beginnings. She gained her CDA and educated herself on running a home child care. Beautiful Beginnings grew from strength to strength. She currently has one room for babies and toddlers and another for older children. Tanya emphasizes involving parents and caregivers in their children’s learning and connecting families.
Similarly, she is interested in connecting with other FCC providers through the Newark CARES network, learning from them, and helping them by sharing her care experiences over the years. “We (FCC providers) have been alone for years. I’m so glad someone is helping us,” she says. Her message is: “Child care is not babysitting! It is showing children the world!”
Preferred Childcare FCC
Tameika’s daughter loved caring for small children when she was young and introduced her mother to a new calling. As she helped her daughter, Tameika found that she was a natural and that children found her engaging and easy to connect with. She worked as a home health aide then, and her patient’s mother helped her set up Preferred Childcare FCC. She then gained her CDA and has been in business for 11 years. She provides care for children aged 0-12 years. Through the Newark CARES network, Tameika is interested in learning about other FCC providers’ perspectives and would like to make her business more robust. She aims to move into a larger space, start her early learning center, and provide transportation for children who come to her. Of her strengths, Tameika says: “I am trustworthy, reliable, and patient. I enjoy caring for children. Parents are interested in supporting their kids. I want to help parents do their best.”
Nurturing Care/ Darnella Grey Child Care
When the medical billing company she worked for closed, Darnella Grey found a job as a stopgap in a child care center. However, she discovered she was a child magnet and began loving her work. She worked with a few childcare centers for 15 years and began dreaming of opening her own one day. When her last employer announced closing, Darnella’s inner voice told her that the time was right to start her own FCC. She gained a CDA and participated in several professional development opportunities while setting up Nurturing Care in her home. She has been in business for eight years and specializes in working with infants and toddlers. She loves interacting with parents. According to her, they see her as a “counselor,” and rely on her for help and advice. Darnella looks forward to being a part of Newark CARES and learning more about the business aspects of owning an FCC. She brings a wealth of experience in child care and protective services to the network. About her strengths, she says, “ I have mommy syndrome! I treat the kids like they’re my own. Like they’re at home. I love teaching and being close to them in a home setting.”
Pat and Company Child Care
Patricia King began her career working in an early learning center in Newark. She was not satisfied with the care provided to children there and decided that she needed to start her place. Pat and Company Child Care is an FCC that was born 30 years ago. Patricia holds a CDA and has participated in numerous early learning and care programs and workshops. She has cared for many infants and toddlers and offers aftercare and even overnight care for children whose parents work non-standard hours. Apart from raising her child, Patricia is an adoptive parent and has fostered several children over the past 40 years. Patricia readily offers help to families in need by connecting them with community resources. She brings this same enthusiasm to the Newark CARES network and looks forward to working with other providers to learn and grow together with them. She aspires to open her early learning center to open up her care to more children in the community. About her strengths, she says, “I will help anybody. I am a people person. I love people, especially children!”
Debra Williams Child Care
Years ago, a friend suggested that Debra Williams consider going into child care, given her love of children. Today Debra Williams Family Child Care is firmly rooted in the West Ward of Newark. Debra proudly looks back on 15 years as an educator, a small business owner, and a resource in her community. She has cared for infants, toddlers, and older children, providing aftercare and holiday care. She holds a CDA and has participated in several early educator professional development opportunities. Debra is excited to be a part of the Newark CARES network because she is interested in building her FCC into a full-fledged early learning center that offers transportation and other family-friendly services. In addition, she is keen to learn from other providers and support them in whatever way she can. Asked about her strengths, Debra replies: “Loving kids and caring for kids, those are my strengths.”
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