Boost from Season of Sharing and ELC helps Sarasota single mom with childcare

Categories: Stories of Impact, COMMUNITY CARE: Placemaking: Housing, Transportation & Economic Support, Season of Sharing,

Heather Anderson always dreamed of a life with animals. Growing up in Sarasota, she imagined one day maybe she would be a veterinarian at an animal hospital in town.

But after giving birth to her daughter soon after high school graduation, Heather found herself having to shelve plans to study for a career.

That’s because Heather quickly became trapped in what is a common Catch-22 for both single parents and working couples with kids.

Heather was eager to support herself and her baby, but in order to work she needed to find an affordable daycare center – a near-impossible feat in the area amid a region-wide crisis in childcare.

Calling around to centers, she encountered long waiting lists and high costs.

The dilemma left her juggling part-time hours at a grocery store where she’d worked as a cashier since the age of 15.

“I never worked full time. I always had to take care of my daughter,” Heather said. “It wasn’t worth it to work full time and bring her to child care. All my money was going straight to her child care.”