Working moms with babies need extra care. These centers specialize in TLC.
“Our new moms need extra care and attention,’ said Tricia Quinn, Regional Vice President for CCLC. “And if we serve them well when their children are infants, we can keep them for years.”
These three Southern California CCLC centers go above and beyond:
Center for Children & Families, California State University, San Marcos: Parents in the classroom, and a classroom for parents. Pop into this cheery center during the late morning, and you’ll likely find a handful of mamas down on the floor, playing with their babies and letting it all out: their parenting joys and success, and also their fears and struggles.
“Many of our moms are students who are balancing so much,” said Center Director Jody Carmichael. “Sometimes all they need is to hear ‘Gosh – me, too!’”
The center has a computer-quipped “adult classroom” where moms can go schoolwork, making it easier to breastfeed, talk to other moms, and earn their degrees.
UPC Child Development Center at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles: Staying connected to parents, even when they’re at work. Partnering with new parents is key for Center Director Paula Lamar: “We send pictures throughout the day and encourage parents to call classroom directly to check in,” she said.
Moms can nurse anywhere, from the outdoor deck to a softly lit private relaxation room. Lamar also know that partnerships with teachers are important to new parents. Infant teacher Lisa Lee has been with the program for 14 years – longevity like that helps parents trust their babies are in good hands.
FOX Child Development Center, Los Angeles: Where empathy and understanding build community. “We want our center to feel like a home away from home for all our families, but it’s particularly critical for new parents,” said Center Director Yasmeen Mazer.
Many new mamas are upset to the point of tears during those first drop-offs, so Mazer stays with them until they’re ready to leave. The center also hosts a quarterly luncheon so that “veteran” parents can meet and reassure new folks; the resulting connections among families are strong. Recently parents delivered $400 in food to a new mom recuperating after surgery. This is what it means to build community!