Some of the families we work with, like many parents around the world, struggle to find safe, affordable child care.

Such was the case for Sreymom* and her husband. The young couple had moved to Sihanoukville from the countryside in hopes of a better life for themselves and their three children – two boys aged 7 and 13 years old, and a young baby girl aged 1 ½ .

To support the family Sreymom walks around the city selling small river clams from a mobile food cart. Her husband has work as a security guard.  Looking after their young daughter was a challenge. Sometimes the older siblings would have to stay at home to babysit.  Other times one of the parents would have to miss work. When they did find someone else to take care of their daughter it was expensive; more than $3/day. With a very limited income even this amount was a significant cost and it meant that they occasionally didn’t have the money to buy enough food for the rest of the family.

The small room the family rents to live in is located in Phnom Keiv, one of the poorer areas of the city. A neighbor told them about M’Lop Tapang’s Community Education Center, located not too far away, that runs a Baby Care Program for working parents. The program provides day-time care for children under the age of 5 years old and includes supervised care, nutrition, medical, and fun learning activities. The cost to parents is 2000Riel/day (USD $0.50).

Now that Sreymom has her little girl in our Baby Care Program, her family situation has improved.  The parents no longer have to miss work to take care of their daughter. Sreymom is earning about $10/day selling her street food and her husband brings home a regular salary of $200/month from his job as a security guard. Their older boys are studying in the classroom at the Community Education Center and will soon be reentering the local public school system.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us.” said Sreymom “My baby looks so much healthier than before and now we have enough money to spend on food for the whole family.”

*name and photo changed for confidentiality