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Mother and Son Reap Benefits from the Child Care Center

Tamia Patrick with son Bryson

Tamia Patrick, with son Bryson Patrick, 5, is grateful for the small classes, safe environment and outstanding teachers at the Child Care Center.

Ask five-year-old Bryson Patrick about the Child Care Center of the Ministry of Caring and he will delight you with everything you ever wanted to know about flowers, popular songs and his favorite subject of all, hermit crabs. Ask his mom Tamia Patrick and the topic shifts to small classes, a safe environment and outstanding teachers. But when you mention Bryson’s June 11, 2010, graduation day, mother and son speak with one voice. Departing from the only child care programs that Bryson knew—and came to love—was a bittersweet experience for both.

“I wanted for Bryson the teacher-child intimacy that small classes offer,” remarks Tamia, a 31-year-old single mother of two. “I found it first in Il Bambino, the Ministry of Caring center for infants and toddlers, and later the Child Care Center, where Bryson had only 12 to 13 students in his class.” Describing her son as a sometimes “rambunctious” boy and a “very determined, go-getter,” Tamia watched him thrive under the patient care of his teachers, especially Vivian Johnson and teacher’s assistant Yolanda Miller. “They helped him learn to listen, stay on top of his behavior and not to interrupt adults as he used to.” “Bryson is a very intelligent child,” adds Vivian. “It would not surprise me if his love of animals and flowers leads him to a science career some day.”

Tamia, an administrative assistant, receptionist and file clerk in a Wilmington law firm, remarks that the Child Care Center and its affordable sliding-scale fees helped make it possible for her to work outside the home. “With Bryson in a safe place all day, I was free from worry about him,” notes Tamia. “And I always felt confident that his teachers would promptly address with me any concerns they had about Bryson.” She proudly adds that in September 2010, Bryson entered kindergarten at the Thomas Edison Charter School, where he has an older brother too.

At peace that her sons are on the right educational track, Tamia has begun a new venture of her own. She is pursuing a certificate in art and design at night school while her mother cares for the boys. “I hope to work in an art museum someday and learn how to run it,” she says.

Tamia’s journey toward self-sufficiency continues. Next, she plans to move from her mother’s home and live with the boys in her own apartment. Bryson’s former teacher’s assistant, Yolanda Miller, also a former case manager, is providing the moral support and practical assistance to help Tamia reach that goal. “Yolanda has also shown me how to budget my money. I’m now better with my finances and I’m finally saving.”

“It’s not easy to become independent. I’m still struggling,” she smiles. “But, like my sons, I’m on my way!”

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