The mission of the YWCA is to empower women and eliminate racism. The YWCA of the Quad Cities takes the first part of that statement and puts it into practice with their Teen Parent and Child Center, located in Rock Island High School. Since 1991, the YWCA has been providing quality and affordable child care, as well as support and structure for young parents. This care could not be provided without the dedicated staff.
Each child has their own crib and a special blanket from home.
Open when school is in session from 7:45-3:45, the center is located on the first floor of the high school. The space is open, warm, and inviting. Newly renovated, it has a clean but welcoming feel. Cribs line the wall of one half of the room, with open space on the floor for tummy time and reading. The room is divided in two sides, one for toddlers and another for infants. The toddler side is full of interactive toys, soft toys, and games. The walls are lined with pictures, art, and colorful paintings. Proudly displayed are the monthly goals for each child. Students can visit their children during study halls and lunch times, and nursing mothers are able to come when needed to feed their child.
The tummy time area is great for all stages of playing.
Other services are provided to young parents, like ‘Rock Time’, when programs like DCFS and WIC come in to teach students how to apply for their programs, or how to get help when they need it. This program allows students to be informed of what resources are available to them now as young mothers and fathers, as well as for the rest of their lives. Parents are also given a package of diapers if they meet an 80% attendance standard. Many local churches and organizations donate all kinds of supplies, like diapers, wipes, and clothing. The help from the community and staff creates an environment for students to succeed, and eventually, graduate. Parents pay an affordable monthly fee, which allows them to have low cost daycare while they are still in school. The cost of child care has gone up tremendously over the years, making graduating and having a child almost impossible for a young student. The center allows students to finish school, allowing them to work towards providing for their child.
One of the children enjoys the tummy time area.
The child care center receives help from Rock Island Special Education students. Students help by washing toys and equipment for the day care. This allows for staff to keep their focus on the wellbeing of the children. Students are also invited to read to and observe the children. Many children develop bonds with students, and are excited to see them when they come to visit.
The center an incredible display of the impact the YWCA has on the community. Without this help, many students wouldn’t be able to graduate high school, setting them behind their peers and placing them and their child at a disadvantage. We strive to keep this amazing service open to students, and want to thank the past and present staff for their time and effort.