Access to child care is critical for all parents and caregivers in order for children, families, and communities to thrive. That’s why Illuminating Child Care, a program at Illuminate Colorado, provides free high-quality child care to young children while caregivers get the support they need to strengthen their families.
Before a parent can begin to address any complex issue impacting their family, like mental health concerns, substance use disorders, or employment challenges, they are too often faced, first, with struggling to find child care.
With Illuminating Child Care, parents and caregivers can focus on addressing any complex issue impacting their family because they know their children are safe and receiving high-quality care.
Recently, we had the chance to speak with Jordan Davis about what a day in the life as an Early Childhood Teacher with Illuminating Child Care looks like. Jordan works on the on-site child care classroom Honey, which visits locations across the Denver Metro area each week where parents receive treatment and support.
Jordan mainly works with toddlers, helping them to develop fine and gross motor skills, alongside a heavy focus on language. Days on Honey are filled with reading books, playing pretend, and lots of coloring.
All aspects of play are developmentally critical for toddlers. Jordan explained how reading together helps kids learn and pronounce new words; playing pretend with grocery store toys introduces little ones to different food groups, colors, numbers, and healthy choices; and coloring helps to grow their fine motor skills.
Through working and playing with the kids, Jordan and the other teachers are able to identify what milestones each child has met or is working towards. Thanks to the high teacher-to-child ratio, it’s easy for teachers to meet each child where they are and address their specific needs. While working with multiple children, the teachers create different opportunities for each child, ensuring an equal level of engagement and growth across the group.
Jordan also explained that Illuminating Child Care is well equipped to meet the needs of children facing developmental challenges. Each teacher is skilled at identifying a child’s needs and how to assist in their development.
Another aspect of providing quality child care is building genuine, trusting relationships with parents. Illuminating Child Care teachers prioritize what each parent wants for their child, including how to best align with the schedules kids are on at home, in order to create a consistent and safe environment for learning.
Having started as an Early Childhood Teacher in January of 2023, Jordan has loved watching each child develop and progress.
Her favorite part of working on the Illuminating Child Care team is seeing how fast the kids grow. Over time, Jordan has learned to develop attachments with the toddlers, creating a consistently safe space where they can feel comfortable to start learning by playing.
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