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DISCOVERY DEPOT

Why child care is so important

Homeless children often do not have a chance to experience quality child care, and are at risk for abuse, neglect and exploitation because of their precarious situation. Discovery Depot’s caring teachers support children to instill in them confidence, self-worth, a love for learning and other building blocks for success in the face of adverse circumstances.

BHC’s Discovery Depot Licensed Child Care Center

The hardships of homelessness-hunger, displacement, stigma, low self-esteem and exposure to potentially dangerous situations-and the high levels of stress they create for homeless children and their parents, often negatively affect a child’s development. Before the narrow window of opportunity in these children’s early childhood development closes, Discovery Depot’s caring teachers support children to instill in them confidence, self-worth, a love for learning and other building blocks for success in the face adverse circumstances. Through open communication with teachers and caregivers, parents receive valuable information and support leading toward a greater understanding of their children and their needs-including proper nutrition, age-appropriate play and socialization, and a violence-free environment.

Established in 2003, BHC’s Discovery Depot Licensed Child Care Center (DD) is the first licensed child care center in California located at a homeless shelter. The program is free to eligible client families and allows BHC resident parents to travel off-campus to pursue housing, work, educational, parenting or substance abuse prevention opportunities while their children receive nurturing early child care and education that prepares them for school – and life.

Just as important to early treatment is access to preventive education and basic healthcare tips. The Center offers ongoing classes to help educate our residents. Our parents who take advantage of the preventive education are more healthy overall and are more engaged in their children’s healthcare needs, including school physicals, preventive vaccines, oral exams and hygiene.

Approximately 500 adults and 200 children will receive medical, dental and age-appropriate health education services. Recognizing the great need, our local medical community has been very generous with their time and support of the program. Physicians and dentists are encouraged to contact Brenda Nichols, the Medical/Dental Coordinator at the Center (bnichols@bhc.com) if they would like to donate their time.

“Homeless children often do not have a chance to experience quality child care.”