A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action
Initial Posting: Feb 17, 2005
Purpose

The Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project developed the Coronado Infant Center to enable teen mothers to learn parenting skills and to stay enrolled in school.

Description

NOTE: THE CORONADO INFANT CENTER IS NO LONGER IN OPERATION.  THE VIRTUAL CAP POSTING IS BEING CONTINUED TO HELP OTHER AGENCIES INTERESTED IN PROVIDING SIMILAR SERVICES.  STOP, INC. CONTINUES TO OPERATE THREE INFANT/TODDLER DAY CARE CENTERS.

The Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project (STOP, Inc.) operated the Coronado Infant Center that provided on-site infant care for teen mothers enrolled in the Norfolk Public Schools.  The center was co-located in an alternative school for pregnant and parenting teens across from a high school and was open weekdays from 7:30 AM – 3:00 PM during the school year (September – June).

The Infant Center was a state licensed facility providing comprehensive care for infants from the ages of two-weeks through twelve months.  An Infant Registration Form was completed for enrollment and fees were charged on a sliding-scale basis.  Each infant was required to have a medical examination and up-to-date immunizations prior to being accepted.

Services were provided in a developmentally appropriate environment that nurtured each infant’s individual growth.  A Parent Handbook provided information on the Center’s policies and procedures.

A Daily Schedule was followed that included special activities and story time.  Staffing included the Center Director and Child Care Assistants with a 4:1 ratio of infants to staff.

Parents were required to provide two (2) changes of clothing and diapers since the Center only maintained a one-day supply for emergencies.  Formula or breast milk was also provided daily by parents.  Examples of other operational policies included:

  • Sick Child Exclusion Policy – The child was not permitted to remain at the center if he/she had a temperature of more than 100 or if the child had a communicable disease.
  • Procedure for Administering Medication – Center staff was only able to administer medications prescribed by a physician and a Medication Authorization Form was required, along with proper labeling, storage and recordkeeping measures.  A Parental Permission Form was also required.
  • Reporting of Suspected Abuse/Neglect as required by state law.
  • Discharge and Termination Policies for cause including:
    • Child consistently being picked up late
    • Account more than two (2) weeks behind
    • Repeated incidents of inappropriate behavior on the part of parent/guardian toward center staff
    • If the parent was terminated from the school system

Parents were responsible for transporting their children to the Infant Center.  Bus passes were given to parents who needed to use the city bus system.  Parent involvement was encouraged and opportunities were also offered to learn parenting skills through parenting classes offered by the school system.  Plans to transition to day care started to be developed six months in advance of the child’s first birthday.

Outcomes

Twenty-four infants participated in each of 2003 and 2004.  Provision of childcare allowed the mother to remain in school, participate in parenting skills training sessions, and provided role-model childcare and infant/adult interaction appropriate to the age of the child, resulting in improved parenting abilities for the teenage students.

Contact

Lawanna Dowden, Head Start Director
757.858.1376