Providing a Safe, Caring Place
Bandon Community Child Care Center / Bandon
“It is a relief to know that Soraya is having fun and being cared for while I’m at work. It can be hard to trust your baby to strangers, and I’m grateful to have a place to bring my babies where they are safe and happy.”
Bandon had a child care desert,” says Kathrine Alvarez, program director for Bandon Community Child Care Center (BCCCC). “There were no safe options for people with infants, toddlers and preschoolers.”
BCCCC provides high–quality care for families in Bandon and surrounding communities. Funding from OCF, The Ford Family Foundation and Wild Rivers Coast Alliance enabled it to open in September 2019 and it currently is caring for eight children. “Our teachers work very hard to provide developmentally appropriate learning opportunities in a safe environment,” Kathrine says. “Our hope is that these children will be better prepared for kindergarten. Children who have a better association with school tend to do better and be more stable.”
OCF announced a $500,000 multiyear investment in addressing the child care shortage in Coos and Curry counties, in addition to a $50,000 grant awarded to help with start–up costs for BCCCC.
Through an innovative partnership with South Coast Business Employment Corps, BCCCC offers paid leave and health benefits—a rarity even for urban child care workers. “It’s almost unheard of,” Kathrine says, “which is why day cares are notorious for high staff turnover. We have not lost any teachers!”
Kathrine emphasizes the difference BCCCC makes not just for children but also for parents like Meggie Dotzonrod: “Having a local, safe, quality option has given them immeasurable peace of mind. It’s so important to provide a safe jumping–off point for an educational system.”