08 Sep A Business Built With Care
Bilha Escun immigrated from Guatemala hoping to provide a better life for her children. When she first arrived, Bilha and her husband worked strenuous hours at sewing factories in the garment district and struggled to make ends meet. But even worse, she barely had time to spend with her children. The dream of a better life seemed far away.
Fortunately Bilha’s eldest child attended LTSC’s Angelina Preschool. The preschool director, Adriana Perez, noticed Bilha’s situation and approached her about becoming a Family Child Care (FCC) provider. As an FCC provider, LTSC would help Bilha earn her license, transform her home into a childcare, and become a small business owner. State funding would allow LTSC to pay Bilha to care for infants and toddlers from low income families, subsidizing the cost of childcare for families in need. For Bilha, it seemed too good to be true. She signed up for orientation right away and has been a FCC provider for 5 years. With support from both LTSC and Head Start, Bilha has thrived, even taking additional coursework from a local college to become a better childcare provider.
“When I first came to the US, I never thought that good opportunities like this would come to us. I’m accomplishing goals that I never thought I would achieve,” said Bilha. “I’m also becoming a better parent thanks to my training and I’m applying parenting methods that aren’t known in my Guatemalan culture. Economically, I can offer my family a better life and I’m able to spend more time with my children.”
Bilha and her family are no longer living paycheck to paycheck, and she’s been able to start saving for a house where she can expand her childcare business. “I want to give back to the community, by helping the children build a strong foundation. This way they can grow up and make something of themselves, just like I did,” she explained.