Quality Childcare Helps Family Thrive

 Ashley Sweitzer’s life changed drastically when she went from being a stay-at-home mom to being a single mom to Dustyn, Kaylee and her baby, Ariya. To provide for her family she needed to work which meant she needed to find safe and affordable care for her kids.

A United Way funded program through Berks County Intermediate Unit provided the solution; she could work and know her kids were in a quality childcare center. Because Ashley worked part-time, she didn’t qualify for financial aid through the state. As a working mom with limited income, United Way funding and the BCIU were able to help provide affordable childcare based on her income.

Dependable childcare provided Ashley the opportunity to grow from being a part-time assistant at Reading Spine and Wellness Center to being the fulltime office coordinator. “I don’t think anyone realizes how much it helped. I wouldn’t have been able to grow and succeed at the company without the program,” Ashley shared.

Seven years later, Ashley knows her son and daughter Dustyn, 13, and Kaylee, 11, benefited from the program. Ashley’s youngest, Ariya, 8, attends childcare every day before school. “I feel like nothing is holding me back,” Ashley said. “I provide for them 100 percent, financially and mentally, and my daughter can look to me one day and say, ‘mom was able to do it, so I can do it.’”

Empowering families – – this is what United Way does.