To effectively end the cycle of poverty and homelessness, we must invest time and energy in our children. Drueding Center’s Youth Services provide high-quality programming, beginning with infants as young as six weeks in our Childcare Center and continuing through age 12 in our After School Program.
Childcare Center: The lack of safe, secure childcare is a major barrier to single mothers who need a job and a steady income to support their families. For a minimal fee, Drueding Center provides professionally staffed, developmentally appropriate childcare, licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare.
Our Childcare Center also has 30 Head Start slots and 15 Pre-K Counts slots. All early childhood education activities are based on the Creative Curriculum and designed to promote cognitive, linguistic, social/emotional and physical development based on the theories of Jean Piaget and Erik Ericksson.
After School Program: Our After School Program ensures a continuum of enriching activities outside of the school day and all year long for children who live at Drueding Center. While school is in session, children are accompanied from school to the program, which runs until 6:00 p.m. every weekday evening. During holidays and summer vacation, we offer a full-day After School Program.
School-year activities focus on:
- nutrition and physical fitness
- educational components, such as library visits and sessions on computer literacy
- trips to leading cultural institutions such as the National Constitution Center and the Annenberg Center
Therapists deepen the Preschool After School Program through weekly PATHS® activity groups to support enhanced emotional awareness and interpersonal problem solving skills, backed up by teacher-led activities. The anecdotal results of the PATHS® curriculum are promising. Our toddlers and preschool children have shown an increased ability to identify their feelings and find appropriate ways of expressing their emotions.
The Child Care Program currently holds four Keystone STARS—the highest distinction offered—which is a recognition of quality awarded by the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Learning. Our staff is in constant communication with the local elementary school, providing an opportunity to monitor attendance at school and intercede if there is a problem.