In 2013, Jazmine McDonald knew she was going to need child care after her baby was born, so she didn’t waste any time. While still pregnant with her daughter, she placed herself on a waitlist for First Baptist Head Start’s day care and preschool program.
A wise decision, in retrospect. It ended up taking more than a year before McDonald’s daughter, Jaida Mallard, was accepted into the program. Now 3, Jaida is learning English and Spanish at First Baptist Head Start while her mother works retail full time and studies criminal justice.
“Basically, I’ll go to work in the morning, then I’ll go to school, two days a week, all the way until 10 p.m.,” McDonald said. “It’s very helpful for people like me; I can’t really afford to pay for full-time day care every week.”
The agency has received funding for its holiday program this year from Share the Spirit, this newspaper’s annual campaign to enhance the holiday season for needy residents in the East Bay. The grant is administered by The Volunteer Center of the East Bay, and donations support more than 30 nonprofit agencies in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.