The Children’s Center (1994-present)
The Children’s Center Program was founded in 1994 by the members of UPAVIM to provide to the community an infant daycare service and pre-school education. The Children’s Center began as a nutrition center and a Montessori style daycare.
The Montessori II daycare center attends to children from 3 to 5 years of age and employs three teachers.
Several members of UPAVIM were trained as teachers by Dr. Lilian Moncada Davidson, professor at Queens College in New York, and by other teachers experienced in the Montessori system. Additionally, all of our teachers received training in nutrition. In the following years, the teachers have continued their studies in the United States, El Salvador, the Conference of the Reading Council in Guatemala and in workshops. The Kellogg Foundation financed a trip for two cooperative members to travel to Brazil to observe a similar project.
The children who enter into the daycare center are from families with working parents and children are accepted between the ages of 45 days to 2 years 6 months. To obtain a full or half scholarship, the parents or the mother must demonstrate that their income is extremely low.
The daycare staff, previous to being hired, are required to be trained in the Montessori Method and are also required to have training in early childhood stimulation and nutrition. First consideration is given to members of UPAVIM for the jobs, and if there is no member interested, the position is opened up to anyone who fulfills the requirements.
The Children’s Center opens its doors from 6:30am to 5:30pm. The parents pay a monthly fee of Q. 50.00 (US$6.25), members of UPAVIM, pay Q. 25.00 (US$3.25) and UPAVIM awards ten scholarships a year. The expenses of the Children’s Center are covered by fees charged and the sale of our handmade crafts.