Early learning is key here at this West Side child care center. The goal is to make sure the children are ready when it's time to start school full time. Ruth Kimble began caring for children in her home back in 1996. But she says she couldn't give them the best start because she lacked education herself.
"There was such a void there. I did not know about the development of children and the needs of the children and I knew there had to be information out there to help me be a better provider," said Kimble, founder, Austin Child Care Providers' Network, 5701 W. Division.
After enrolling in college to earn her bachelor's degree in early childhood development, she was inspired to help other women who also lacked resources.
Now, the Austin Child Care Providers Network offers job training and continuing education classes for people looking to join the field or to develop as professionals. Kimble reasons that if she helps the mostly low-income women who are caring for children to become better educated, they could then help teach the next generation.
"Whenever we develop a program, I think about the needs that I have and how they impact the needs of this community," said Kimble.
A grant from HSBC paid for a computer lab to teach technology skills and financial literacy workshops. A kitchen is used to teach preparation of healthy snacks.
These home-based child care providers say Kimble's network has been their life-line.
"Before I joined the network, I didn't know that the state to help for me to go back to school to obtain my degree," said Paulette Harvey, child care provider.
"I've been finding out more information on how to deal with young kids ... so much other things that I didn't know," said Barbara Davis, child care provider.
The Eleanor Foundation recently gave Ruth Kimble's organization a $60,000 grant to help the women learn financial literacy. HSBC installed a computer lab so the women could learn technology.