Managing and teaching in a shelter child center

Who we are and why we started!


ALL CHILDRENS NAMES ARE CHANGED TWho we are :Elk Day, a preschool and childcare started in a shelter

What we do: Serve families in the shelter system by providing preschool and childcare to children that wouldn’t have any support any other way.

How it began:

I was asked by the person supervising the children’s day room  to go sit with the children for a while.Not knowing what I was about to walk into ,I agreed. It was horrifying and something you might expect to find in a third world country (maybe) but not in America.

At the time there were 57 children in the room, all 4 year old or under. There were several children on  the floor staring into space with glazed looks,and a whole bunch of infants in cots screaming.It was heart breaking,but I didn’t say anything that day. I just started spending more and more time in the day room, until it was all day when I wasn’t in classes. As I hung out,I learned. I learned that there was no way of knowing who was in the room at any time. That kids were just left at 5:30 am and often not picked up until 7 or 8 pm. (we now close at 6). There was no order at all, and children just sort of wandered around.

After two weeks I couldn’t stand it any more. I complained. I was told basically” you want to change it,go ahead.  It’s all yours.”

So I inhereted a preschool. I have absolutely no clue how to run a preschool. I am muddling through with some assistance from professionals I have found online and some classmates in my child development courses. I want this to succeed. The children we serve need preschool the most. And yeah, we may have just about everything going against us. But we really are the little preschool that can!


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