Second Street Learning Center
Hether Fains, mother of Jazmine-6, Deja-3 and Marquis-2, works the front desk at a hotel. Even though she told her employer that she had no one to watch her children on the weekends, she was often scheduled to work Saturdays and Sundays. "I have to call off. They say they understand, but that means I only worked 16 hours last week."
However, thanks to new service hours at the Second Street Learning Center, Hether is now able to work the full-time hours she needs to support her family. The Opportunity House's on-site community childcare center joined an estimated 12 childcare centers nationwide who offer 24-hour services, 7 days a week.
"If the center didn't open weekend care when it did, I wouldn't have been able to keep this job." Hether knows that the hotel needs her on the weekend as much as she needs the hours. "The Second Street Learning Center's new hours makes life better and easier for me and my family."
The Second Street Learning Center is located in the lower level of Opportunity House at 430 North Second Street. Opened in October 1996 to give homeless mothers the opportunity to participate in shelter Lifeskills classes, it quickly became an answer to working parents in the Reading area.
With community support and assistance from the United Way of Berks County, the Second Street Learning center started with enough staff for 18 children on a typical day shift, Monday through Friday.
With increased need presented by these community parents and continued support from a community that wished to support working parents, the Second Street Learning Center expanded hours and renovated additional space to create the first 24-hour a day, 7-day a week childcare program focused on meeting the needs of low-income families in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This program now serves over 300 children in our community, less than 10% who are homeless.
If you or someone you know is in need of childcare for infants through school-age children — particularly during evenings, nights and weekends — please call our intake specialist at the Second Street Learning Center at 610-374-4696 ext. 242.