At UCP-OC, our mission to help children with disabilities reach their full potential, improve the quality of life for their families, and foster an attitude of acceptance and inclusion is central to everything we do. One of the ways we strive toward this mission on a daily basis is through our Inclusive Childcare program.
Children with special needs can thrive in traditional after-school settings like the Boys & Girls Club, but often require extra help in order to do so. With the support of Inclusive Childcare, children receive the individualized attention they need to participate in their local after-school program so their parents can work to support the family.
Kimberly, age thirteen, has Down syndrome and is deaf. When she first joined our program, she was struggling to participate in her after-school program, but our Inclusion Team knew that with proper support and continued encouragement, Kimberly had the potential for full inclusion in a typical after-school program.
Nearly seven years later, we have been able to watch Kimberly grow into a strong and independent young teenager who now enjoys every activity available to her. In fact, she has become an exemplary participant at the club, which is why she was named their Member of the Month for June 2015!
The program has also been of great benefit to Kimberly’s mother, Christa, who works full time. She has the peace of mind on a daily basis that her daughter is in a safe and supportive environment, allowing her to focus on work responsibilities in order to provide for her family. She shared “I am so proud of Kimberly’s recognition and know she couldn’t have done it without UCP-OC. The Inclusive Childcare program has really helped her to blossom.”