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Updated Apr 7, 2014 - 6:20 am

Preschool chain offers free childcare to parents going to job interviews

A Valley mom is facing charges because police say she left her children inside a car while she went into an office for a job interview. Shanesha Taylor, 35, claims she had no choice, because she's homeless and had nowhere for her children to go.

The president of Sunrise preschools said it didn't have to be that way.

"All 25 locations (of Sunrise Preschool) are happy to offer up to four hours of totally free childcare for parents who need childcare during an interview," said Dana Vela.

She said that parents are required to give 24 hours notice before bringing their children in for the service.

"And they need to come in probably 15 to 30 minutes early to drop off," Vela said. "That's because there's paperwork to fill out that includes their emergency contact information. They also need to bring in their child's immunizations."

If you don't have your own phone, you can leave someone else's number as an emergency contact.

"It could be a friend or family member," said Vela.

"Some families even leave us a case worker as an emergency contact, or a church member. They can leave us information for other people that would agree, for that four-hour period, to be the child's emergency contact."

Vela said that Sunrise does not police where the parents go after they drop their child off. "If you tell me that you need for me to keep your child for that four hours so that you can go on a job interview, then I'm going to choose to believe it," Vela said.

She said the preschools have been offering the service for over two years, and have never had a problem.

Vela said that the purpose of the offer is to offer a safe place for children to stay while their parents are looking for work.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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