Re-United, Inc is a center-based childcare facility in its start-up phase aimed at providing quality child-care to children in the Dorchester, Roxbury, Hyde Park, and Mattapan neighborhoods of Boston, MA. Our vision is to provide an educationally enriched curriculum and develop literate toddlers that are prepared with the ability to successfully meet the challenges of Kindergarten. Our mission is to provide an academically rigorous and fun learning environment while helping to facilitate positive parental contact for children and their non-custodial parents in Boston, MA. Re-United assists parents in overcoming systematic barriers preventing engagement with their children. Re-United is the bridge for parents who are seeking the assistance, guidance, and mentoring to become better parents especially when involved with the Child Welfare and Criminal Justice system.
Most of the children we plan to provide childcare services for are African-American, Hispanic, and/or of West Indies descent. Re-United’s staff will strive to have a diversity of services to address the diverse situations of families that reflects the population we serve. This diversity of Re-United’s staff enhances the childcare facility with the ability to provide culturally competent and sensitive care to the children and parents.
Statement of need:
In the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America – one out of three – live in the biological father-absent homes. Nearly 2 in 3, African-American children live in father-absent homes. Nationally, Black children are only 15% of the population, however make up 31% of children in the foster care system. A study by the U.S. Children’s Bureau showed in September 2010, there were an estimated 408,425 children in foster care. The average cost of a center based daycare for a three year old is $631 weekly. Human Services budgets for Child Welfare systems cannot afford the high costs of providing quality childcare services for the many children they serve. The obstacles include affordability, accessibility, and high quality standards in childcare and after-school program. Based on yearly income, many parents living in the Dorchester, Roxbury, Hyde Park and Mattapan areas cannot afford quality center-based childcare for their children. Child Welfare agencies, children and parents are in need of a center-based childcare that can provide essential services, in terms of educational, family engagement, and cultural needs to flourish and achieve their full potential.
Re-United helps to re-engage low-income parents by achieving parent responsiveness. Re-United provides visit coaching to assist parents in overcoming the barriers that prevent them from being attuned to their children’s needs, and establishing permanency. Re-United helps parents to better their relationships with their children in a safe setting where parents are supported by visit coaches.
Government agencies have recently begun to demonstrate a new commitment to the role of fathers in children’s lives. While this commitment is directed towards theoretical perspectives to provide much needed information and dialogue, the attempt to effect change in the daily lives of children and their non-custodial fathers/parents is limited. Re-United is establishing a model and method for creating a unique childcare environment that meets not only the needs of the child but their parents/guardians as well.