Childcare options for local working mothers |

Childcare options for local working mothers

Bridget Manley

Balancing a career and a family can be a daunting challenge.

Just ask Craig resident Karina Weiman.

She waited until her son, Elias, 4, enrolled in preschool before she started working full-time at TriState Generation and Transmission.

But just because Elias is in school doesn’t mean that Weiman doesn’t need a hand now and then. When her son is sick, he needs someone to care for him.

That’s when she turns to family and friends.

Weiman has one word of advice for other working mothers: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” she said.

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Balancing a career and a family also was a concern for Judi Whilden.

Before she became owner and director of Sunrise Kids, LLC, Whilden knew exactly what it meant to juggle work and home life.

She worked at Colowyo Coal Co. for 11 years. At one point, she was working full-time while her son, Andy, was a toddler and her daughter, Amy, was a newborn.

“It was very difficult,” she said.

Whilden did her homework, looking for a childcare provider to watch her two children. But even after she found someone to watch them, leaving them behind when she went to work was never easy.

“The awful feeling of leaving your children and going to work never felt good, no matter how much I cherished my childcare provider,” she said.

Whilden learned to balance the needs of career and family. When she wasn’t at work, she dedicated her time to her children.

And, she also discovered that she needed to tend to her own needs before she could be the mother and employee she wanted to become.

“The most important thing is not to forget to take care of yourself,” she said. “If you don’t take care of yourself, there won’t be enough of you to take care of your family.”

Eventually, Whilden made a compromise between work and home.

When Andy and Amy were 5 and 2 years old, respectively, Whilden bought Sunrise Kids, LLC. There, she was able to care for her own children and still maintain a career.

Whilden’s business is one of several places where busy mothers can find care for their children while they’re at work.

The center, located at 700 School St., is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A staff of eight instructors provides a preschool curriculum for children throughout the day, which includes math, science, reading, social studies, and arts and crafts.

“When the parents are at work, it gives the children the opportunity to be exposed to the development of language skills, cognitive skills : (and) social skills,” Whilden said.

Sunrise Kids takes child registration throughout the year. One-year registration costs $30.

The Boys & Girls Club of Craig provides activities for older, school-age children throughout the year.

Students can participate in a wide range of activities in the club’s art room, computer lab, recreation room and gym.

“We try to have a positive environment for (children) to learn respect” for children around them, Club Director of Operations Mel Ferree said.

The Boys & Girls Club, located at 1324 E. U.S, Highway 40, offers after-school programs and is open on certain days during the summer and school vacations.

Club registration costs $10 a year. On full days, the club charges an additional $10 a day for children who stay from 1 to 6 p.m.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or