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of Education, The Child Guidance Center, The Birth to Three Network, The Health Department, Community Health Centers and Universities.

The Action for Bridgeport Community Development, Inc. continues to look at expanding through innovative strategies to provide child care services to families in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

In 1985, the Blue Ridge Community Action, Inc. in Piedmont, North Carolina began a child care program responding to the welfare reform initiative and a community needs assessment. The community action agency is in the western region of North Carolina, serving Burke and Caldwell counties with a total population under 50,000.

The agency has five day care centers where they also provide Head Start services to children ages six weeks to five years old.  In 2003, 250 children received day care services and 279 children received Head Start services.

With the demand for parents to work, the child care program continues to grow.  In the last few years the Hispanic population has also grown which has resulted in hiring bi-lingual staff.  Parents work typically in a factory environment and work first shift.  The Hispanic population work in the fields with vegetables and tobacco.  97% of the families are low-income and receive a child care subsidy.  The child care program also provides employment opportunities to many parents.  Currently the centers employ seventy four parents with the average wage of $9.00 per hour with full benefits.  Employee satisfaction is high with only a 5% turn over annually.  

The Blue Ridge Community Action, Inc. attributes the high success of the program to the relationships with the Department of Social Services, Health Department, Local Community Colleges and families.  The use of volunteers through the Foster Grandparent program aides in the quality of service the children receive and the families’ satisfaction of services provided.

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