NEWPORT, Ky. — Charlize Ball is a single mother working to further her education at the Northern Kentucky Scholar House. The Scholar House is a “self-sufficiency program” providing several services, with priority given to single-parent families working to pursue a degree in higher education. Ball works on classwork through Gateway Community and Technical College while her daughter is at the child care center. 

What You Need To Know

  •  The Northern Kentucky Scholar House helps provide resources and tools to help people trying to get ahead in life

  •  Charlize Ball is a single mother who is able to pursue her degree thanks to services provided by the Scholar House

  •  A report shows the child care sector has struggled since the pandemic

“That’s what you hear when you are a young mom- you’re going to struggle to get your education and when you have places like these where you have women and men willing to be early scholar teachers or just daycare workers. You don’t understand that they are providing that parent with a foundation," she said.

In a recent report, the Administration for Children and Families notes that the childcare sector has been struggling since 2020, with about 7.5% of the workforce lost due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ball said she's not sure where she'd be without childcare and early childhood educators.

“I would say that they really are the backbone of the community," Ball said.

Part of that backbone is Sue Forbes, who's been with Brighton Center for about 5 years now. She said her job working with and educating infants is more than just babysitting.

“I make sure they have nutritious foods with helps with development. We do fine-motor skills— fingers, coloring, play-doh, links for babies, gross motor-skills, she said.

It's long and challenging some days, but she wouldn't trade this job for the world.

“We might say we will some days but no. It’s so rewarding because you go home knowing you made a difference," she said.

Ball said it's important to think about the impact early childhood educators and those in childcare have on parents and on kids-- because it's helped her and her family tremendously.

“I think it’s just one of those things you don’t really think about but when you witness it first-hand you realize it’s something you should think about," she said.