A Latina Doula Supports Parents Through a Day Care

Introduction, who is Aridia? What makes this day care different?

Hello! My name is Aridia Maria Polanco. I am a passionate, dedicated single mother from Washington Heights looking to launch a small business with my mom. My mom, Juana Madera, has over four decades of childcare experience in addition to raising my two sisters and me. Seeing her strength as a single mother since I was a child has motivated me to be where I am today and to embark on this journey together.

We will be managing a bilingual licensed group family day care called Parentville Center from my apartment in Harlem. Our goal is to provide a village of support to empower parents through education and guidance. We want to bring the reliability, knowledge, and nurture of doulas into the childcare space. We will do this by offering our families access to parent support groups, resources, sleep training guidance, breast/chest/formula feeding support, helping with baby lead weaning, and providing exceptional quality care for children.

Over the past five months I have been attending workshops, various training, taking on clients as a doula in-training, and educating myself on infant and child development. I am getting certified as a postpartum with DONA International. The requirements to become a doula and an at-home child care provider are extensive and you can find out more about the process here: postpartum doula and child care provider. Along with the requirements, I created an LLC, obtained my Health and Safety, CPR, and First Aid certifications, worked with the Small Business Administration and the Business Outreach Center to create a business plan, develop a logo and enhance my social media pages. The Instagram page can be found here. I’ve done everything I can to move this project along but unfortunately, I am at a standstill due to a lack of funds. I created this crowdsourcing campaign in the season of giving in hoping that friends and family can support me in this endeavor.

"It takes a village to raise a child" and that's just what we are hoping to do together!

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The Backstory, what motivated this idea?

As a child, I always wanted to be a mother. I grew up taking care of my sisters, neighbor’s children, and cousins at every opportunity. Throughout my high school and college years, I tutored children in math and worked with youth programs such as the YMCA, SYEP, and DDC. When I learned I was going to be a mother, I was beyond ecstatic and eager. During my pregnancy, I researched pregnancy symptoms week by week, the developments of the baby, supplements to consume, exercises to improve my birth outcomes, midwives, doulas, and what to expect from birth. My birthing experience consumed me so much that I didn’t feel prepared for the arrival of the baby and to be honest going home with my son was terrifying at first. As a child, my mom made it look seamless. She never missed a beat, she was attentive, caring, passionate, and balanced. I, on the other hand, experienced a plethora of different emotions. I knew I wanted to breastfeed but did not know what to expect. I was in shock and did not feel confident, prepared, or supported during the first weeks of my postpartum period despite having a partner and family to assist me. As a result, I started researching about monthly milestones, joined community outreach programs, and a virtual support group. The education, friends, and confidence I’ve gained through these experiences were invaluable. It was a turning point for me and my mom because the level of appreciation I felt for her increased immensely. As a result, we decided to partner together to help parents as they embark on the most challenging journey, parenthood.

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Since I want to be committed to supporting parents and families as they welcome a baby and transition into their new roles, there was no better way to do this than to become a postpartum doula. This is a delicate time when parents are vulnerable, need extra care, and support to awaken their parenting intuition. While undergoing the doula training, I realized doulas income depends on clients, and getting clients can be challenging. There is no source of steady income unless you have the clientele. Then during my training, I was tasked with finding a new daycare for my son since the old one closed post- COVID. It was difficult for me to find someone I trusted. I had a terrible experience with my previous provider and was cautious. I wished I had someone I trusted to care for my son. Someone who knew how to handle breastmilk, someone nurturing and knowledgeable on infant care.

This helped the idea spark of merging my passions together and creating Parentville Center. I would operate a daycare while being a doula and have doulas work at the daycare as well. Parents will get the support they need while getting high-quality care and doulas can use the daycare as a form of a steady income in between clients.
 

The Cause, why is this important?

During the postpartum period, there are major changes occurring. There are shifts in the families’ roles that need adjusting. Involved support during this transition plays a significant role in meeting parent’s basic needs. A parent is set up for success to care for their child if they feel emotionally and physically supported, confident, and receive information and resources from a reliable source. Identifying support needs and expectations of new parents is important for recovery after childbirth and postpartum depression prevention efforts. To help children thrive parents need to have resources and feel empowered to tackle the challenges of parenting. Supporting parents improves the outcome of a child. 

Research has shown that 90% of brain development occurs in the first five years of life. The people who help care for your child are also those who help shape your child’s mind. Childcare and early education help children develop social, emotional, and communication skills. These skills give your child a head start to succeed academically and in life. In addition to the positive long-term impacts that high-quality childcare has on children, they provide important benefits to working parents. It helps parents better balance their work and caregiving responsibilities without putting their children’s well-being or their own jobs at risk. When your child is in a safe, reliable, stimulating environment it helps to reduce stress while at work. This is especially important with mothers, who often prioritize childcare over their jobs. The importance of care is apparent with the decline of women in the workforce post-COVID. Childcare is essential in stimulating the economy. Society, children, parents, employers, and communities benefit from high-quality child care. Fostering a healthy, successful, future workforce is vital to everyone’s well-being.

Parentville Center will support parents in my community to help children thrive.

 
 
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The Costs, how will the money be spent?

The funds collected for this campaign will cover some of the start-up costs for the business furniture, toys, art supplies, and additional licensing/certifications required.


A detailed outline of the expenses can be found below:

Professional Pictures for Website and Flyers $300
Playmats/Activity Mats $1,200
Website Development $550
Highchairs $450
Surveillance Cameras $355
Writing Easel $350
Glider/Caregiver Seating $550
Toddler Sofa$280
Bookcases $320
Toddler Table and Chairs $828
Cleaning Supplies $550
Steps and Ramp climber $216
Toys/Blocks $660
 Infant Loungers $240
NYSPEP CPRA Certification $150
 Bins/Organizers $175
Storage Cabinet $540
 Changing Station $416
Books $300
Kitchen Station $475
Activity Table $211
Cribs/Play Pens/Cots $1,500
Health and Safety Certification in Spanish for my mom $300
First Aid/CPR Certification in Spanish for my mom $150
Total $11,066
 

How You Can Help!

I am passionate about this endeavor and would love some help to fund it. If you can, please donate. Any amount received is helpful. If you’re not able to donate, please share the link with your network. Words of encouragement are welcomed as well!

I appreciate your time and generosity!

 

Resources

https://theirworld.org/news/how-childs-brain-develops-from-womb-to-age-five

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/covid-19-and-gender-equality-countering-the-regressive-effects

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518627/

https://www.dona.org/what-is-a-doula/benefits-of-a-doula/

Donations

 See top
  • Madelaine German 
    • $250 
    • 12 hrs
  • Cassandra.osei@gmail.com Osei-Cruz 
    • $50 
    • 7 d
  • Kristen Choi 
    • $50 
    • 8 d
  • silvia tejeda 
    • $50 
    • 8 d
  • Marielys Divanne 
    • $100 
    • 8 d
See all

Organizer

Aridia Polanco 
Organizer
New York, NY
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