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The dynamic duo crusading for parents at the Escambia Early Learning Coalition

The dynamic duo crusading for parents at the Escambia Early Learning Coalition

"Mr. Bill and I are a team." Pamela Wirick's assessment is spot on. She and Bill Busch are indeed a team. They collaborate to help parents find safe, convenient, affordable child care and Pre-K that best fits their needs. Each brings their own strengths to the partnership as resource and referral specialists at the Escambia Early Learning Coalition.

Bruce Watson is the Early Learning Coalition Executive Director. "He has maps; he has all the data about every provider in this county. I mean, he could narrow it down and meet your needs; if you want something within a mile of your house, he'll tell you everything that's within a mile of your house."

Bill takes great pride in that reputation. "Sometimes a client will have a special needs child and we'll find child care providers that have training and experience."

Bill and Pamela go about their duties with no indication of their own challenges. Bill's words come slowly with a kind and understanding tone. Pamela is legally blind. Bruce explained you'd never know it. "But, her heart sees everything that's in front of her. Her heart sees the person that she's serving."

Pamela doesn't see a challenge. "I'm blessed. I'm blessed. I mean, I have a keyboard that actually is adapted for the blind."

When parents have to bring their children with them to the office, count on Pamela to make her way to the lobby. She'll rock the babies while mom does paperwork. Bruce has watched her entertain the older ones too. "Even with her limited reading abilities, she'll read to the children. Sometimes I think she's making the stories up but that's what makes stories good."

Aside from being child care resource experts, these teammates listen closely to what parents say and don"t say to pick up on other needs that may exist. They'll connect them to the help that's available.

According to Pamela, they keep their hand on the pulse of services in the community. "Trust me, we will find it. Because it could be clothing, it could be food, it could be a shelter for women."

When they make the connection, Bill said it's time well spent. "I really enjoy helping the clients to become more self sufficient."

Their goal is met when parents leave with every possible reasource for a better lives for themselves and their children.

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by the Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart.

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