Jitterbug Daycare: Providing Alternatives for Parents in Wall

Jitterbug Daycare, located on Main Street in Wall, is an example of thinking outside the housing box. For parents of young children, having a home and a job is only part of the equation for economic stability. They need a safe, affordable daycare.

Jitterbug is one of several daycare facilities created through the Governor's Daycare program, a SDHDA initiative that follows the model of the Governor's House program. The daycare buildings are constructed by inmates at the Mike Durfee State Prison in Springfield, and then moved to the destination community.

Trisha Eisenbraun, who has owned Jitterbug Daycare for the past five years, said having a licensed daycare facility is crucial to families receiving state aid. "I currently have three families on state aid," she said. "Without the help, these families would not be able to work or go to school."

The Jitterbug facility, built in 1998, was initially run by a nonprofit group. However, financial problems forced the daycare to close and it sat empty for a year. "I couldn't stand to see the building vacant any longer," Eisenbraun said. "As soon as we opened our doors we were bombarded with calls. The community was thankful to get a licensed daycare back in town."

Each Governor's Daycare facility is 1,200 square feet with 6 rooms and 1½ baths. There is a big play area, a crib room and a kitchen. It is designed specifically to be a daycare facility for up to 20 children.

The Governor's Daycare program's impacts go beyond childcare in important ways by helping to stabilize communities. Parents can work in their communities rather than moving or commuting to a city with better daycare alternatives. Additionally, the daycare facility increases the local tax base and provides jobs for daycare workers.