Every Child Deserves to Smile and Shine

Featured Funded Program: Southern New Hampshire Services’ (SNHS) Nashua Child Development Center

For local working families needing quality, affordable child care, the SNHS Child Development Center on Allds Street in Nashua is an extremely valuable resource.

It's never too early to introduce children to books. (photo courtesy of United Way Worldwide)

It’s never too early to introduce children to books. (photo courtesy of United Way Worldwide)

The center provides full-day child care for infants, toddlers, and preschool children in Greater Nashua, and extended-day child care to supplement Head Start programming for low-income families with children ages 3-5. United Way’s support allows some 70 area families to use the program and keep their child care costs down.

“For families struggling to make ends meet, United Way’s support of the Nashua Child Development Center is essential,” said Christine Wilson, center director.  “It’s often very hard for low-income families to find quality child care they can afford. We currently have a wait-list for all ages.”

Families who enroll with the Nashua Child Development Center come from a variety of backgrounds and face many challenges. Wilson gave an example from two years ago when a young parent who was struggling with substance abuse and consistent employment sought assistance with child care. In addition to child care services, she received help from staff who noticed that things were not going well and stepped in to provide resources to help her get back on track. “These types of situations can be very hard on children,” said Wilson. “The center provided and continues to provide the children with a consistent safe and loving atmosphere, something that was not always available to them during hard times.”  Today, the mother is doing well and making better choices. Without this program, her children may have had to grow up with a parent struggling with drug addiction and poverty, Wilson added.

One of the rooms at the Nashua Child Development Center, which offers many activities for young children.

One of the rooms at the Nashua Child Development Center, which offers many activities for young children.

The Nashua Child Development Center is open from 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM to meet the needs of families who work or are engaged in skill-building activities such as training or schooling, which will lead to self-sufficiency. The program provides a nutritious breakfast, lunch and snack, and works with families to address special health and nutritional needs. SNHS works with the NH Employment Program and the NH Child Care Development Fund Scholarship to support families with job retention activities. Located within the Community Action Agency, the center provides one-stop-shopping for supportive services to assist families with parenting challenges and self-sufficiency goals. Eligible families can access the Women, Infants & Children Program, Commodity Supplemental Foods, and fuel assistance. The Nashua Child Development Center also works closely with local organizations such as the Front Door Agency, Bridges, Nashua School District, Gateway Community Services, plus local doctors’ offices. “All of these resources working together can help a family build a better future,” said Wilson.

The SNHS Nashua Child Development Center receives support from United Way of Greater Nashua’s Community Impact Fund. You can help create a better future for local working families in need of affordable child care by making a donation.

Joshua Brennick is a United Way volunteer and owner of JBrand Media.


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