Child-care at APTS

1/7/16

We spent the winter holidays with family in Rhode Island and
Rochester.  Homelessness was in the news
in both locations.  While I was in
Rochester, the local paper ran a front page article on Rochester’s anti-poverty
initiative.  According to the article, the
initiative’s leaders spent 2015 conducting research and gathering information
on the issue.  This year-long
investigation discovered led to a couple of conclusions such as, systemic
barriers including structural racism are factors perpetuating poverty and that
people living in poverty would rather help improve their neighborhoods than
leave them for the suburbs.  In addition
the report identified three initial goals for the initiative: 1. redesign the
social service system, 2. create a network of adult mentors to help the working
poor to navigate services and learn valuable skills; and 3. improve access
to high-quality, affordable child care.

It’s this latter goal I want to talk about for a
minute.  First of all, most of us who
have studied the issue and/or worked with poor families, are well-aware that
affordable childcare is one of the primary barriers to employment, so I’m glad
that the initiative is including this as one of three initial goals.

At APTS, residents will cooperatively provide childcare under
supervision of a trained childcare worker.
Residents who demonstrate talent and express interest in this line of
work will be provided with the opportunity to become certified early childcare
providers.  The goal is that in year 2 of
operation, an APTS facility can offer accredited, quality childcare to both its
own residents and the greater community on an ability-to-pay basis.  Thus, residents have one of the primary
supports necessary to secure and maintain gainful employment.

Even though one is a teen and the other is a tween, my
children still love Rochester’s children’s museum, and so do I.  This museum, The Strong National Museum of
Play, founded in 1968, houses the National Toy Hall of Fame, and boasts largest
collection of toys, games, dolls and video games in the world.  The Strong models what early childhood
learning should look like: it’s play; it’s interactive, it has a variety of
learning centers.  While my older
children were running around playing, I jotted down a couple of quotes painted
on the walls:

Almost all creativity involves purposeful
play.  

                                                                               –
Maslow

In play a child always
[behaves] above his average age, above his daily behavior.  In play it is as though he were a head taller
than himself.
 – Lev Vygotsky, Play and Its Role in the Mental Development
of the Child,
1933.

Of course, the first quote comes from psychologist Abraham
Maslow, who is most famous for Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which posits that
basic needs, such as food and shelter, are necessary for learning, and
ultimately self-actualization to occur.
At A Place to Stand children will have all their basic needs, so when
they enter the day-care center they will come ready to play, interact, enjoy
the learning centers, and feel a head taller.
Come work and play with us.