The quality of life for many residents of West Oakland is improved because of the good work of those at Saint Vincent’s Day Home! – Supervisor Keith Carson, Alameda County Board of Supervisors
To provide quality early education, care, and development services to those in greatest need while offering family services in which children are nurtured and educated and their parent(s) are supported in meeting their parental responsibilities.
Saint Vincent’s Day Home provides comprehensive early learning programs for toddlers and preschoolers, a licensed full-day kindergarten, and before- and after-school programs for older children. We enroll children ages two to six and are open from 7am to 5:30pm Monday through Friday.
Our program consists of early learning, nutrition, child care, and health screening, as well as parent education and social services referrals for low-income multi-ethnic families struggling toward self-sufficiency. Saint Vincent’s serves primarily single parent families who struggle at or below the poverty line.
A Day in the Life of a Child Attending Saint Vincent’s Day Home
When I come to Saint Vincent’s in the morning, my mom and I are greeted by the nice person who sits at the front desk. She checks me to be sure I am healthy and ready to start my day. As my mom walks me to my classroom, I peek into the dining room because I want to see what we are eating for breakfast.
Mom is glad that I eat at the Day Home because the food is freshly prepared daily and is nutritionally balanced and…tastes good, too. Each day I eat a nutritional breakfast, lunch and a snack after I nap.
When I enter my class, my teachers’ and friends greet my mom and me. My teacher reminds me to put my coat in my cubby. I know my cubby because it has my symbol on it and my name. I’m learning to recognize some of the letters that spell my name.
I hug Mom and tell her “bye” and I am ready to begin my day.
I know without a doubt that I will spend the day playing. My teachers have prepared, as they say, “age and developmentally appropriate” learning experiences for me, but I call it playing.
I am challenged and supported in learning to think, create, share, problem solve, build friendships, build language skills, develop respect and to try new things. All this, everyday, as I play.
By the end of the day, I am ready to go home and share my day with my mom. I need to ask Mom to go with me and my class to Fairyland. Yea,
another field trip!
I know there are lots of friends in my class, but I feel that my teachers work extra hard just to meet my needs, all my needs, like I am the only child in their class.
I go to bed thinking about what tomorrow will bring, another exciting day of “play” at Saint Vincent’s Day Home.
Each child at the Day Home received regular health services including regular vision, speech, hearing, and dental screenings. Collaboration is ongoing for expanded care with: Children’s Hospital Oakland; West, East and North Oakland Health Centers; Child Health & Disability Program; Clinica de la Raza; Asian Health Services; Berkeley Center for Child Study; UCSF Dental School and Highland Hospital.
Children receive meals at breakfast, lunch and mid afternoon. These three meals provide the complete daily nutrition requirements for young children. Our meals are prepared fresh each day. This service is especially important for children who leave their homes in early morning and may return shortly before a child’s bedtime.
Social Service Referrals
Families experiencing trouble or a crisis situation initially consult with our staff and are then referred to appropriate support services in the community such as the Department of Social Services (DSS), physical and mental health professionals, homeless shelters, or crisis centers. Our professional staff provides follow up, translation services and other assistance to ensure comprehensive cooperation and collaboration. Referrals come to Saint Vincent’s from Children’s Hospital, Alameda County Department of Social Services, court referrals and private agencies.
We serve a very diverse population in terms of ethnicity, and also serve the homeless, battered women, children who were born drug-exposed and children who have special developmental, behavioral or emotional needs. Fully 95% of our families and children live daily under the stress of poverty.
Our children and families speak: English, Spanish, French, Tagalog, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), 3 East-Asian languages and 2 East-African languages. Care is taken to ensure that written material is presented in translation, or explained on an individual basis. Ten languages are spoken among our diverse staff, enabling learning to take place in a culturally diverse setting that emphasizes the art, literature, traditions, music and cuisine of a rich variety of societies from around the world. Saint Vincent’s operates year-round, ensuring consistent and integrated services to those in need. We also serve families in crisis due to drug/alcohol problems, family illness, or other disruption.