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Recent Media Coverage of AlmaCare
- PHCCPA 2002 CONFERENCE September 27-28, 2002, HERSHEY, PA
- Mayor assesses childhood
Thursday, September 7, 2000
In a ceremony marking creation of a Child Care Health and Safety Fund,
he told how grants were used.
By Monica Yant Kinney
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
While Mayor Street talks of spending $1 billion on sports stadiums and
millions more to demolish abandoned buildings, a ceremony yesterday in
City Hall showed just how far a few dollars can be stretched when it
comes to providing safe, healthy child care.
In one of his first acts as mayor, Street proclaimed 2000 to be the
"Year of the Child." Yesterday, he talked about some
results: $150,000 worth of grants that have gone to 83 family day-care
providers and child-care centers.
A mere $800 helped one Mount Airy woman buy fencing and a canopy to
protect the backyard where children play. A $1,000 grant allowed a
Germantown woman to install safe stairs in her home, while $5,000
bought a Chinatown day-care center a new sink.
"Taking care of our children, who really are the most vulnerable
among us, is no less important than anything else we do," Street
said at a ceremony yesterday for the newly established Child Care
Health and Safety Fund. "If this city is going to make progress,
we really need to make children a priority."
The goal is to help people in the child-care business stay afloat, and
in compliance with city and state regulations.
"We were concerned that people were having too hard a time
meeting health and safety requirements. We didn't want people going
out of business," said Harriet Dichter, the city's director of
Half the money came from the city, the other half from Child Care
Matters, a privately funded regional initiative on child-care quality.
A third of the grants tackled fire-safety issues; a quarter were
directed at outdoor safety. The rest of the money was used for
everything from lead-paint removal to purchasing educational materials
and nutrition guides.
Grants averaged $740 to individuals caring for up to six children in
their homes; $2,500 for group day-care homes serving up to 12
children; and $4,700 for larger child-care centers.
At Woodland Academy in Southwest Philadelphia, the $5,000 grant was
used to replace old, rusty doors and to add security cameras and a new
"The neighborhood we have is kind of deserted. It's very
dark," said Sandra Pollard, who runs the center in a converted
shower-door factory at 54th Street and Grays Avenue. "The
security cameras make the staff and parents feel more secure."
In Mount Airy, Alma Doumbouya used $800 to erect a six-foot fence
around her property, repair concrete, and install a canopy and
indoor/outdoor carpeting to better protect the four children she
watches at her home.
"Our most enjoyable time is usually outdoors," Doumbouya
said. "We have riding toys out there, games we play. Sometimes we
do our reading and our snacks out there."
This spring, Children's Village in Chinatown had a state grant to open
a new toddler classroom. Missing were funds to add a pint-sized sink.
A $5,000 grant helped pay the $8,300 bill, said the center's executive
director, Mary Graham.
"Some people get excited about new books and computers. Our
teachers were so excited about a sink," said Graham, whose center
cares for 168 children, including 40 toddlers. "It means a lot
easier supervision of children. And it means health and safety."
An additional $200,000 has been allocated for the next round of
grants, which will likely go to 114 applicants whose requests were
deferred this summer.
Monica Yant Kinney's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org