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Friday, April 5, 2024

‘I was searching for my village, and I found it here:’ A Look Inside Catholic Charities Lynn Child Care Center

For visitors arriving at Catholic Charities Lynn Child Care Center, a sense of community, welcoming, and belonging can be felt upon walking through the center’s front entrance.

Greeting families warmly from behind the front desk as they drop their children off is Jodi Scaglione, a resident of the Lynn community whose sons once attended the Lynn Child Care Center.

“My boys are 24 and 26 now,” she said. “They loved it here and still love coming back to say hi.”

Witnessing children such as Jodi’s grow into young adults and learning of their successes is what Center Director Jamie Laurenza says is one of the many privileges of working at the child care center for 27 years.

“The ability to help and make a difference in children’s lives is what makes it so meaningful,” she said. “And it’s so special to watch them grow.”

From spacious, well-lit classrooms full of educational toys, games, and books, to hallways decorated with colorful artwork, and indoor and outdoor recess spaces, the center provides endless opportunities for learning and play.

In addition to the dedicated team of teachers, office managers, and kitchen staff, who provide two meals and a snack to the children every day, there is a certified play therapist on site to help support children with their emotional and mental health needs.

“Some of these childrenhave so much trauma when they come to us and have experienced so much in their lives, even though they are still so little,” said Jamie. “Helping them see this as a safe space and providing them with that shelter and comfort and consistency is so important.”

Candice Cronin, who worked as a teacher before stepping into her current role of Assistant Director, said the Lynn Child Care Center is not only a safe haven for the children but for the staff as well, many who are parents themselves.

“It takes a village to raise children,” she said. “Becoming a mother, and working in childcare, I was searching for that village, and I found it here. It is so fulfilling to have that support and be able to now help other parents and teachers too.”

“Most people learn of us through word of mouth – neighbors, families who go to church together, people who once came here and now bring their children” said Jamie. “It really is a community within a community.”

Catholic Charities Boston’s Family and Youth Services Division provides both center-based and family-based child care services to approximately 1,200 children across Eastern Massachusetts each year. Learn more about our child care programs here.

To learn about how you can support Catholic Charities life-changing programs, visit our ways to give page here.

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