Incubed Learning Center Serves the Baltimore Community
Eddie Conway visits Incubed Learning Center and speaks with director Nicole Love about the services they provide for the community. Later, students from Incubed visit The Real News Studios.
EDDIE CONWAY: Welcome to The Real News. I’m Eddie Conway, and I’m here today at a daycare center, to do a tour and an interview with a young black woman who’s very enterprising. So, please join me in welcoming Nicole. Nicole, tell us a little bit about yourself.
NICOLE SCOTT: Hi. My name is Nicole Scott. And I own and direct Incubed Learning Center. We have three sites, here, there, and one in Parkville. I’ve been doing this all my life; literally, since I was 14 I’ve been working with children. And then I worked in multi-daycare centers, Head Start, school systems… and then I decided to work for myself. So, that started in 2008.
EDDIE CONWAY: And so now, how many young people do you have in your care at this particular time?
NICOLE SCOTT: Woo! We have 38 in this particular site, plus 15 in this site, and then 15 up in Parkville.
EDDIE CONWAY: Okay. So, that’s like…
NICOLE SCOTT: Roughly…
EDDIE CONWAY: Sixty-eight.
NICOLE SCOTT: Yeah. It’s up there.
EDDIE CONWAY: Okay. That’s a lot. So, you have people working for you?
NICOLE SCOTT: Yes. We have 11 employees.
EDDIE CONWAY: What’s the problems… The struggles? I heard you say something about Maryland taxes and whatnot…
NICOLE SCOTT: Hmm. Run down that list!…
EDDIE CONWAY: …Young woman, trying to do business here in Baltimore, what’s the challenges?
NICOLE SCOTT: I think having support from peers. Sometimes when I’m networking, I’ll… it’s like everybody doesn’t want to give out information for some reason. I’m not the same way. When a fellow co-worker, or someone else that’s a provider, asks me for help, I give it regardless. Even if I don’t know, I’ll try to lead them to the right source.
So, it’s just that type of thing. And then Maryland taxes are ridiculously high. Sometimes it’s, um… unreachable, trying to pay the taxes. But, I swipe that all to the side, because I still like to provide the service. We do have a lot of families just — that they can’t afford daycare. And I do have families that’s in here, more like a sliding scale fee, because they can’t afford the regular fee. But my thing is not for, I… I’ve known the families… the families we have for a long time.
So, I try to work with all of our families. We do have families that’s been in there for free, because of job loss. I let their kids come for free, so they can find work, or what have you. They use the stuff in my office up. They use my fax machine, my scanner, whatever they need — to help them get back on their feet, I help.
I have had homeless families that became homeless over the time. I’ve helped them out. Put them in a hotel. Whatever it takes to try to help their situation because they’ve been a part of my family for so long. So, it might have been they just, you know, ran into some financial issues and became homeless, but they still bring their kids here every day.
So, I always feel like, you know, don’t worry about the price. Try to get on your feet, and I’ll take care of everything else. I’ve have networked around, getting food, products for them to use. When they’re not working, of course.
I try to have family gatherings, when we all get together as one, at least twice a year, to bring all the families together, ’cause I do appreciate them. Without them, there’s no me.
EDDIE CONWAY: So, who encouraged you? Who helped you? Who’s the wind beneath your wings?
NICOLE SCOTT: My mother, my mother always encouraged… well, she always worked with kids. Not for her business out there. She always brought kids home from work. We always had a new family of kids in the house. So, I’ve always just loved children.
And then when I had my own two children, I seen a lot of things going on in daycare centers when they were in daycare centers. And I said, “Oh, when I become a provider, I will help more than, I…” You know, as understanding as I am, “So, when I become an owner, I’ll do a little bit more to help people out, that are less fortunate, or just don’t have it.” I’m not a non-profit. I wish I was, but…
EDDIE CONWAY: Mm-hmm. So, what goes on in there?
NICOLE SCOTT: This is what we call our infant room. This is our children, who range from age six weeks, up until 24 months. So, all up until they are about to turn two. This is where they’re housed at.
Hi! Hi, True! They still look sweet. Hi, Kahlil! Hey, Tyler! And that’s Miss Valerie, and that’s Miss Stephanie.
EDDIE CONWAY: Okay.
NICOLE SCOTT: So, that’s them. They take care of the babies.
EDDIE CONWAY: Okay.
NICOLE SCOTT: Hi… Did y’all miss me? This is Miss Jennifer Square. She usually have, like, the beginner fours and fives — and a three, if they’re developmentally ready to be with her. If they’re three, and they can handle the four-year-old… So, y’all say hello!
NICOLE SCOTT: They’re the ones.
EDDIE CONWAY: Yeah, I know. I know. I’ve heard about…
NICOLE SCOTT: And then that’s Miss Jennifer, right there.
EDDIE CONWAY: Okay. Wow.
NICOLE SCOTT: And then we have the two-year-olds, and the beginner three-year-olds, grouped together. And that’s Miss Hope, their teacher.
So, that’s how we take care of those children. Say hi!
NICOLE SCOTT: Hi! That one… that’s the one.
EDDIE CONWAY: Yeah.
NICOLE SCOTT: So, that’s where we house all of these children, right? So, it gets crazy sometimes, and our budget gets — whoof! But, I still get out here and do what I need to do every day. I don’t have a day off.
EDDIE CONWAY: Some of y’all actually have worked in TV studios and stations before. So, y’all know what this is. This is a green screen back, in the background.
PHILIP: My name is Philip… my favorite color is blue, and my favorite food is pizza.
SALLY: My name is Sally… and my favorite color is green.
DEVON: My name is Devon. My favorite color is blue. My favorite pi… my favorite food is pizza.
RAYMOND: My name is Raymond, and my favorite color is blue, and I like, I like Panda Express.
DEQUAN: Hi. My name is Dequan, and my favorite color is red, and my favorite food is pizza with bacon on top.
EDEN: Hi, my name is Eden. My favorite color is blue and my favorite food is pizza.
ISAIAH: My name is Isaiah, and I my favorite color is blue, and my favorite food is pizza.
RAIN: Hi. My name is Rain. My favorite color is orange, and I like …
KENNEDY: Hi. My name is Kennedy. My favorite color is blue, and I don’t have a favorite food
KEONA: Hi. My name is Keona, and my favorite color is teal, and my favorite food is crab cake.
BLACKSTON: Hi. My name is Blackston … and my favorite color is red, and I like bacon on top of egg.
COLE: Hi. My name is Cole. My favorite color is red, and my favorite food is SpaghettiOs.
LOGAN: Hi. My name is Logan. And my favorite color is blue, and my favorite food is pancakes.
AKAYLA: Hi. My name is Akayla, and my favorite color is purple.
EDDIE CONWAY: We didn’t hear your name.
EDDIE CONWAY: Akayla, okay.
AKAYLA: My favorite color is purple and my favorite food… food is broccoli.
NOEL: Hi. My name is Noel … My favorite color is blue, and I like… my favorite food is chicken.
ZANIA: My name is Zania … My favorite color is purple and I like chicken… and rice.
EDDIE CONWAY: See all this is putting on the big screen TV, this stuff… is up and running, there’s big pictures and on all of those things. Back here, all around, right? Okay, so this is a bigger control room than that other little one. So, they sit in here and they monitor people. So, we might have somebody from South Africa talking, or we might have somebody from England, or South America talking. And they will be showed, they’ll be on those screens there, and people will be here, working the controls, and working the keyboards, and making it look like whoever’s talking to them is all together in the same room.
CHILDREN: … (chattering) …
EDDIE CONWAY: … here. This is the room, and this is how you change rooms into other things. This is a floor plan and the design, and they’re going to make this room look like this. And it’s going to be a restaurant, and it’s going to have a stage in it. It’s going to have tables and stuff all up here. It’s going to have a place where people cook at, and a place to keep the food and stuff.
What did you…?
CHILD: … What’s this?
EDDIE CONWAY: Refrigerator. Stoves… Etcetera. Cabinets. That’s the kitchen.
CHILD: … That’s the bathroom…
EDDIE CONWAY: That’s the bathrooms right there. That’s what’s going to happen …
CHILD: Women’s and men’s… I think that’s where… that’s the bathroom.
WOMAN: That’s men.
EDDIE CONWAY: That’s the men’s. That’s right. And that’s women’s. That’s right.
CHILD: I didn’t have to guess.
EDDIE CONWAY: And that’s for children. That’d be the little bathroom.
CHILDREN: … (chattering) …
EDDIE CONWAY: Okay.
CHILD: They was… people standing on the corner, and the police, they had checked them, and they said that he had a pocket knife. And they had put him in the back of the van, and he couldn’t breathe and they… And when they didn’t give him a seatbelt, he was moving all around in the truck, and he needed medical assistance, and he didn’t give it to him.
EDDIE CONWAY: That’s good. How do you know that?
CHILD: …the news…
EDDIE CONWAY: You watch the news. Okay. All right. Thank you for joining me at The Real News.