Orozco’s Bilingüe Child Care
As an immigrant on her own, everything felt unfamiliar to Monica when she arrived from Guatemala in 2009. For her, language posed a significant barrier to acclimating to California. She found work in a variety of jobs, which she continued up through her first pregnancy; however, after her daughter was born, Monica could not find reliable child care. With the birth of her second daughter, it was even harder for Monica to find financial and emotional stability. She felt isolated without her mother and sister, who had stayed in Guatemala, and struggled financially without the support of the girls' father. She describes this time as a very long and painful period.
"But today," she said, "I feel different. I feel like a woman with more strength; a woman capable of accomplishing what I want to do."
Monica's journey toward child care entrepreneurship started with a central tension: the need to earn an income and the desire to be with her children. "With my daycare," she said, "I have time to be with my girls and also time for myself."
She credits the combination of information, coaching, and a start-up grant for her success. She said, "Nurture gave me the necessary information and tools in a way that I could understand. It's not so easy to just open-up a computer and find what you need when you don't know how. Nurture gave me a step-by-step guide to understand what I was doing." She continued, "but it also gave me the necessary financial support to get my license and start my business. ... So, not only did I feel driven to push ahead because of the emotional support, I also got economic support; I had both things in one path."
Monica just received her state license and is ready to enroll families. She has solid plans to market her program in her neighborhood--through logoed shirts that she and the children will wear on field trips, a large banner, and car decal, all of which she ordered from her family's business back in Guatemala. She listed her business with the local Resource & Referral agency and is set-up to care for children with subsidies to maximize her customer base.
Her curriculum focuses on using interactive technology to facilitate English language learning (utilizing donated computers from the local community college). About her program she said, "I firmly believe that two are stronger than one. I will work hand-in-hand with parents to meet each family's needs."
Reflecting on the experience, Monica said, "Nurture gave me an opportunity for a different life; to no longer be hidden in the shadows. Nurture showed me that there is light and a way."