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Published on Feb 19, 2019
High School teacher Jyl Mason loves her job, but felt she had little choice but to resign after the birth of her son Levi. “I started thinking, how am I going to be the parent I want to be, and the teacher I want to be at the same time,” she told Education Week.
But the Pekin, Ill., school district where Mason works, didn’t want to lose her. They proposed a part-time schedule, and a child-care slot right at the high school.
Pekin, south of Peoria, has long had a child-care facility as part of the district’s career and technical education program. Students work with infants and toddlers of community members, who dropped off their children for a few weeks at a time.
This year, the district revamped the program, opening it up to staff members with children ages 6 months to 5 years, and charging just $100 a week.
Superintendent Danielle Owens says turning the facility into a full-time child-care center for staff was a leap of faith - but she’s been thrilled at the response. There’s now a waiting list. “Teacher’s lives are really stressful,” says Owens, “I’m really hoping the center provides our staff one less thing that they have worry about during the day.”