The family center

Making easier the lives of unprivileged mothers

Photo of Judicaelle Irakoze
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Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

“ The Family center “ is very personal to me. Five years ago, I relocated to Portland Maine. The first job I did was to stay with kids whose mothers couldn’t afford daycare. These mothers were mostly single mothers, low-income mothers. I would see the struggle of maintaining a normal life and having time for their kids. Two years ago, my best friend got pregnant, we both were the freshman in college. She had to drop out, work overtime to afford daycare. Her life became about working extra and hard to afford taking care of her baby. That’s when the idea of “ The family center” came. I imagined a 24/7 childcare specifically for low-income mothers, single, teen mothers. I imagined a place where every mother pays according to what she can afford, a place where we are not trying to make money but help the community.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Portland has a growing number of immigrants who 85% make the low-income families. 50 % are single mothers( 35 % are teen mothers ) These are young women overworking to afford childcare services so they can also have a life but at the end, all their income goes to that need. A need that turned out to be a luxury.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Imagine a child care center that works as a nonprofit where the goal is to serve the community. A center for low-income mothers to access affordable childcare services and use the little savings to go back to school or any other personal plans. There is a proverb that says " It takes a village to raise a kid "

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

The future center will be based in Portland. The center will be established to receive maximum 30 children morning, 30 in the evening and 30 at night. Each parent will talk with one of the staff for a budget they can afford. We will work with them according to their schedule. Our goal is to accommodate them and make easier the life of the most unprivileged mothers. The center will have three categories: Infants, Preschool and KIndergarten. It will be built as home to make it for them easier especially the ones who will stay at night

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

The difference with other child care services is that they are for-profit businesses. They are a luxury. The family center will operate as a nonprofit, for the underprivileged

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

I have no doubt this project will change the lives of many families. I have no doubt it would give hope the teen mother to go back to school or go back to her hobbies and her dreams

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

5 years from now, I can see the family center being present in New England. Every state truly need a 24/7 child care center

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?


9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

On this project, I am working with a friend who has an experience working in a day care

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jean Black

"It takes a village to raise a child" for sure! Great idea! Best wishes with your non-profit!

Photo of Diamond Robinson

I think this is a great idea! I would recommend beginning to evaluate ways that this project can get off the ground soon! For example, brand development, you can begin to build support, process of paperwork for nonprofit status, start an email list for potential clients, etc.

Photo of Anthony Montano

This is a great idea! I know that there are plenty of low-income mothers that would be able to greatly benefit from more affordable childcare. I think some good places to start would be to look at the logistics of funding such as accepting donations or looking into government-sponsored options to see if there is some state funding available.

Overall this definitely addresses an important issue and will definitely help many people, so I can’t wait to see how this idea continues to develop!

Photo of Old Friend

This needs to happen. Maybe we can collaborate and The Nightlight Project(Helping Bring Light Into the Young Lives That Need it Most.) can provide books, art supplies, science kits, etc. to the children that will be involved? They could also be sent directly to the individual families. That way the mothers can give their children these necessary supplies without feeling the financial burden they come with.

Photo of Judicaelle Irakoze

Oh yes! We should link up!