Joyful Beginnings Early Education Program is a daycare center built on the premise that every child needs to be nurtured as an individual. The not-for-profit provides care for preschool age children, 91% of whom receive substantial DSS support. In 2019, Joyful Beginnings opened a second location in Waterford with assistance from the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region.

“Without the Community Loan Fund, we would not still be in business, nor would we have been able to expand  to our second location,” says Co-Director Jason Wellington. “We are truly appreciative to be a part of this wonderful organization, and looking forward to working with the Community Loan Fund for many years to come!”

Joyful Beginnings was incorporated in February 2016 with Wellington and his mother, Winifred Wellington, serving as co-directors. The non-profit first approached the Loan Fund in 2017 for a revolving line of credit to cover expenses during delays in reimbursement payments from the Department of Social Services (DSS).

This year, Joyful Beginnings returned to the Loan Fund for assistance meeting the growing demand for quality childcare in the Capital Region. The Wellingtons wanted to open a second location to create more spots for children, many of whom had long been on a waiting list.

With a loan from the Community Loan Fund they were able to open a new location on Saratoga Avenue in Waterford. The new center filled quickly, exceeding all enrollment projections. In fact, by mid-August, just three months after opening, the new location was already at 85% capacity.

Wellington says that a passion for learning is at the heart of the Joyful Beginnings. He and the rest of the staff try to create a nurturing environment that builds a child’s intellectual, sensory, motor and artistic skills.

Since its beginnings, the daycare center has also participated in the No Bottom Left Behind program, a community diaper bank that provides diapers, pull ups, and wipes to families in need. Joyful Beginnings accepts donations of these items.

This year, Jason Wellington is also assisting as a distributor, bringing diapers from collection sites to eligible families. “Diaper need is a serious problem locally,” Wellington points out. In fact, the poorest 20% of families spend nearly 14% of their income on diapers.

Diapers are not covered by the USDA’s SNAP program, previously called food stamps, and there’s no federal safety net program that allocates dollars for this household staple – leaving 1 out of 3 families struggling to buy diapers.

The Wellingtons are working hard to ensure that no child – and no family – is left behind.