Jacksonville, Fla. — At only 4 years old, Sandra Crockett has already overcome a lot. She had open heart surgery at six months old.
When her mom Tiffany Pellote had to go back to work after her surgery, finding a daycare was a big worry for her.
“You have to think about OK, she has medical needs. She needed around the clock medicine,” Pellote said.
She started coming to DLC Nurse & Learn a year and a half ago. It’s a daycare center and Pre-K in Murray Hill for kids of all abilities.
“Our kids have cerebral palsy to heart defects to spina bifida, the whole gamut, but we also serve typical kids,” Heather Corey said.
Corey, the chief operating officer at DLC, showed Action News Jax around Tuesday. There’s a nurse on site, along with highly trained staff members and therapists.
“I was taking off work a lot, every week to take her to therapy,” Pellote said. “So for her to have it here – she can go from therapy back into her class setting with all her friends. It makes it a lot easier.”
The center’s been open for 30 years. They serve between 50 to 75 students each year. Donations go toward supplies – and scholarships for families.
The focus is on education and preparing kids for the future.
“It doesn’t matter what their diagnosis is, it doesn’t matter what their needs are or what they do. They don’t have any limitations here,” Corey said. “We want them to be a kid, and we want them to learn. So when they are able to go to Duval County Public Schools, they’re ready to go. They’re ready for kindergarten and they’re ready to hit the ground running.”
For Pellote, the center means peace of mind when she drops Sandra off each morning.
“There’s somebody here all day long, that if anything was ever to come up, she would have somebody to help,“ she said. “I’m thankful things like DLC are here because if not, me and other families wouldn’t have the opportunity to go back to work and continue taking care of our families.”
DLC also has an after school program for students up to age 22 who have special needs. You can find out how you can help on the DLC website.