By Francine Fulton – Downingtown-Exton Community Courier
Stay-at-home moms and those who work from home are invited to take advantage of Mom’s Day Out (MDO), a new program being offered by young mothers from Marsh Creek Church, 180 Gordon Drive in Exton.
As part of the new outreach ministry, local mothers are invited to drop off their children at the church on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. so that they can go grocery shopping or run other errands, while the youngsters, age 6 months to 5 years, enjoy games, arts and crafts, as well as Bible-based and academic lessons.
The church will charge a monthly tuition fee for the children to take part in the program, which will begin on Monday, Sept. 13.
Director of the MDO program is congregation member Janice Smith, and Charlene Good is assistant director. Both formerly worked at a day care center.
Smith said she wanted to offer a program for mothers and children that was affordable and in a Christian setting.
“(At day care), we couldn’t celebrate (the Christian holidays of) Christmas or Easter. So, I went to our pastor and I told him I had a desire on my heart to start something for kids, especially for younger children, where God would be incorporated,” she said. “(The children) can be in a Christian environment and learn a little bit, and the moms can get a break.”
Smith said allowing the youngsters to spend time with children their own age will also help prepare them for preschool and kindergarten. “(MDO is) not baby-sitting. We’re going to have a curriculum. (The children will learn) Bible stories and lessons on the alphabet and shapes,” she said.
There will be three classrooms utilized by the MDO program, and the children will be divided by age groups: infant through age 2; 2-year-olds; and ages 3 to 5.
“We are utilizing the three classrooms, but…we will open more classrooms if there’s a need, and we’ll add more days. We will also extend the day if we have enough interest,” Smith said.
Children will be asked to bring their own lunches, but a snack will be provided. MDO will follow the Downingtown Area School District calendar.
“Every teacher will have a background check and be trained in CPR and first aid. It will be a safe environmenent,” Smith said. A discount will be offered to families with multiple children in the program.
Smith said the program is part of the church’s effort to provide needed services in the community. “This is an outreach of the church to give moms the break they need so they can be with their kids the other days of the week,” she said.
For more information about the Mom’s Day Out program, interested readers may call Smith at 610-594-9277 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . More information about the church is available at www.marshcreek.org.