The Children’s Journey
Owner: Brydie Harris
Location: Reading, PA
Business: Daycare Center
Purpose of Loan: Business Opening and Expansion
Impact: Educational Opportunites
Regardless of income, any parent who wants to work or train for employment must have access to quality, affordable and safe childcare. Brydie Harris believes this so strongly, he started a non-profit organization in Reading called The Children’s Journey and purchased a blighted building with his own money to start a childcare center.
With his experience as an associate pastor who had rejuvenated his church’s day school, Brydie had everything but the money needed to fulfill his mission. After being turned away from several traditional banks, he approached Community First Fund for help. We provided the financing needed to open the center in 2011, creating 30 much needed daycare slots in Reading. In 2017, we provided additional financing for Brydie to purchase the building next door and expand the center, which now accommodates 72 children.
Among his staff of 14, Brydie has hired many clients from EARN, a state program to help welfare recipients with barriers to employment. Equally important, many EARN clients have been promoted to positions of responsibility in the daycare, including one who became the assistant director. As a result, Brydie has been recognized by the PA Department of Human Services for his hiring and workforce development efforts.