Providing So Much More Than Child Care

Since 1923, Volunteers of America, Dakotas has offered quality, affordable child care for families at all income levels, ensuring the social, emotional and academic development of young children and empowering older youth to be physically, emotionally and mentally healthy and ready to enter adulthood. Sometimes what Volunteers of America, Dakotas provides goes well beyond just child care. Learn how, for one family, they provided peace and security during a very traumatic and emotional time.

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Dear Volunteers of America, Dakotas,

My name is Katerine Walker. I have many reasons to thank Volunteers of America, Dakotas. They are truly ‘helping people help themselves’. 

My husband and I have had our children enrolled in child care at Volunteers of America, Dakotas for the last three years. I was introduced to our services through the Headstart Program for my son. He had some behavior issues that were becoming difficult to handle and was not interacting with others well. After two weeks of care with Volunteers of America, Dakotas Child Care Program, he was a completely changed, well-behaved child. The expertise of the child care staff impacted my son and his behavior in a way that was life-changing for him and for our family. 

In April of 2012, my husband began to have some rather unusual symptoms. He began having trouble seeing so I took him to the emergency room. They ran some tests and told him we could head out as soon as the CAT scan came back. When the results came in, they had found a tumor. Shortly after this visit to the ER, my husband was diagnosed with brain cancer and had to undergo brain surgery, radiation, and chemo treatments. During these necessary medical treatments, he was unable to work. As a young couple, we were already struggling to get on our feet. The devastation of this situation impacted us emotionally, as well as financially. I was the only one working, but my paycheck was not enough to cover the cost of daycare for my two kids. 

I approached the staff at Volunteers of America, Dakotas and explained my situation. They were kind and understanding. Debbie, the program leader, let me know about some scholarship opportunities through Volunteers of America that could help us out for the next few months. Because of these scholarships, my children were able to keep attending daycare at Volunteers of America, Dakotas, I was able to keep working, and my husband was able to get the life-saving care he needed for his recovery. 

It was a relief to be able to keep my kids in a caring place with which they had become comfortable …it was one less thing I needed to worry about during this stressful time. If it had not been for the understanding and help of Volunteers of America, Dakotas, we could not have recovered from that financial blow. Our credit would have been impacted, and we may not have been fortunate enough to be in the process of purchasing our first home! 

Our oldest son is now 6 years old and is almost finished with kindergarten. My youngest child is still with Volunteers of America, Dakotas. I have never been more impressed with any child care staff than I am with Volunteers of America. They have been kind and understanding in working with both of my kids. My children have benefited from the curriculum with Volunteers of America, Dakotas and have learned so much. With the behavioral problems my eldest son had, the staff tested him and put him on an IEP to get to the bottom of it and to solve it. By the time my son went to kindergarten, he was reading perfectly. He could sound out anything that you put in front of him. I recommend Volunteers if America, Dakotas to everyone I can. 

Thank you again for everything.

Katherine Walker