The St. Lucy Child Development Center provides early childhood education to children up to 5 years old.
"With the support of family, church and community, every child will have an opportunity to achieve. Here at St. Lucy we believe every child, every family matters every day," said Danielle M. Davis, director of the St. Lucy Child Development Center.
We asked Davis to answer some questions about the nonprofit’s work and needs. Her edited answers follow.
1. What specific services do you provide?
St. Lucy CDC provides developmentally appropriate, affordable early childhood education experiences for children from 1-5 years old. We serve children from the Houma-Thibodaux area. On average, our daily enrollment is about 43 children.
2. Tell us a short story that illustrates how your services have helped others.
During October 2013, Danielle, center manager, received a phone call from Mrs. Maryland, director of education at Blue Cliff College in Houma. Mrs. Maryland explained to Danielle that there was a student (single mother of four children ages 15,12, 10 and 3) who was very close to graduating from Blue Cliff College, but unfortunately she didn’t have anyone to watch her 3-year-old while she attended school. Danielle asked Mrs. Maryland had the student applied for the Child Care Assistance Program? Mrs. Maryland stated that the student had indeed applied but was denied because she wasn’t in school for 30 or more hours per week and the student had very little financial resources. Mrs. Maryland stated that the school was in the process of changing the student’s hours and then she could reapply for Child Care Assistance, but once she applied it could take up to 30 days for the application to be processed. Mrs. Maryland asked Danielle if there were any programs at St. Lucy CDC to possibly help the student out. Danielle referred Mrs. Maryland to Rob Gorman, executive director of Catholic Charities.
Catholic Charities agreed to waive the registration fee of $70 and charge her $37.50 per week (this is the amount we assumed she would be paying once approved for Child Care Assistance). The student was very excited that she would be able to finish school and didn’t have to worry about child care for her 3-year-old daughter. Some staff members got together and provided school uniforms, school supplies, shoes and a backpack for the child. They wanted the child to fit in with the other students that attended St. Lucy CDC.
3.. How many people do you serve in an average month?
We serve about 42-44 students (families). Yearly we serve about 100 families
4. What are the qualifications someone needs to meet to receive your services?
We are open to any child age 12 months to 5 years old regardless of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, ancestry or whether a child is breastfed or handicapped. St. Lucy does charge a weekly tuition amount of $138 per child, however the most a parent would pay is $105 per week due to a grant from United Way that we use to offset the tuition amount in order to offer affordable, quality child care services to families.
5. How can someone apply?
Visit 1224 Aycock St., Houma, from 6:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.
6. What is your annual budget? Where does the money come from? What is your biggest fundraiser? How can people donate?
Our annual budget is a $357,035. The money comes from tuition payments from parents, a grant from United Way for South Louisiana, the state Child Care Assistance Program and other grants and donations. We don’t do fundraisers. If someone would like to donate they can go to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux website and click on Catholic Charities and then click on the link “Make A Difference Donate.” We currently have 10 paid staff members and 1 volunteer from the Foster Grandparent Program.
7. What is your organization's greatest need?
Volunteers and support through financial contributions.
8. What specific activities are available for volunteers? How can they sign up?
St. Lucy CDC has an annual Easter Egg hunt/Community Outreach Day coming up on March 29 at 12:30 p.m. On this day the parents and kids come out for a day filled with several different activities including an Easter egg hunt. Also local agencies come in and pass out information to parents on the services that they provide to the community. If any local agency would like to participate or donate to this event, they may contact the center director, Danielle Davis at 876-1246.
Volunteers also work on gardening projects, playground improvements etc., They can contact Davis or email email@example.com.
9. Does your group need donations of money, services or goods?
10. What is the greatest reward volunteers receive in exchange for their time?
To know that they made a difference in a child’s early education.