Center caters to kids with health needs
A child care center that specializes in accommodating children with special health care needs has opened in Otis Orchards, helping fill a critical need.
Smiling Faces Daycare was founded earlier this year by Dorrine Kelly, who has spent much of her life caring for family members and others with special health needs and knows how tough it can be to find help or even occasional respite care.
“This is what I do, this is what I know,” said Kelly, who grew up with a father who was disabled on his job and a sibling with special health care needs. She also is licensed to provide adult in-home care. “It has been part of my life, my whole life.”
The center is a transformed former single-family home. It features larger school-room atmosphere and two smaller rooms – one for music and one for computers. Her weekly activities and volunteer schedules are posted on the wall.
A local nonprofit group, Community-Minded Enterprises, provided Kelly with technical assistance and other help in opening the center. Community-Minded Enterprises also is a child care resource and referral agency for parents seeking licensed care.
Kelly is recognized for her training and experience working with children who need mobility assistance, behavior assistance, communication support, health monitoring and medication monitoring.
Smiling Faces accepts any child ages 2 ½ to 12. Currently, she cares for children before and after school and is accepting clients for full-time and part-time and on a drop-in basis.
She said Smiling Faces Daycare will be open most Saturdays during the holidays and through winter to accommodate holiday shopping schedules and winter activities.
Costs vary depending on scheduling needs. By the hour, fees range from $8.25 to $8.50. The monthly cost is about $160 for before- and after-school care.
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