Platform : The Trials of Day Care for the Nanny-Less : ROSIE LODGE / Homemaker, Venice

Compiled for The Times by Trin Yarborough

Four years ago, my daughter had a baby boy, and they took him right from the hospital and put him in foster care. They were going to take her other three children, too. She couldn't take proper care of them. At that time they were 3, 12 and 14.

Well, my husband and I just couldn't bear to see those children go to foster care. Finally I told the bank I was giving up my job, which I loved. I went and took all of them. I don't get AFDC, but we get the Yoakum program, which helps relatives carry the extra cost.

I get up at 5:30 a.m. weekdays and see my husband off to work and take a little time alone before I wake the children. The 7-year-old goes to elementary school and afterward, until 5 p.m., to Oakwood Recreation Center. It's free, and they help with his homework. The 4-year-old, the baby, goes until 12:30 p.m. to Las Doradas preschool, run by the Neighborhood Youth Assn. It costs $20 per month.

It's rough, after raising seven kids of my own. And I sure miss my job. But I know in years to come I will not regret taking these children. They used to be so shy and withdrawn, and now they are blooming.

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