Sister Barbara Campbell, CSJ, was a visionary. She also had two loves in her life; education and children. This woman was very clever and resourceful in how she combined these two loves to gift Wheeling with an invaluable treasure. In the early 1980’s, Sister Barbara taught nursing students at Good Shepherd Nursing Home. Many of these young women had children and were struggling to find childcare while they were attending school. Sister Barbara took it upon herself to provide childcare and established Holy Family Child Care & Development Center (Holy Family) with just six children. Thus began Holy Family’s 31 years of service to assist Ohio Valley families.
Holy Family was established on September 4, 1984 under the sponsorship of the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Wheeling assumed sponsorship on February 21, 1996. The Sisters, now called the Congregation of St. Joseph, are generous benefactors and lend their name and their influence to Holy Family and its mission that strives for excellence in providing a nurturing Christian environment and a developmentally appropriate educational program for young children.
Open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Holy Family ministers to approximately 90 children a month, ages six weeks to five years old. In addition to the full service childcare and early learning center, Holy Family broadened its mission in August of 2008. Collaborating with Ohio County Schools, Holy Family began a Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program. This program works to provide the most individualized, child-centered pre-K education program for the children of Ohio County. Without the services Holy Family offers, many children would not receive the high quality, early childhood education that prepares them for school and for a lifetime of learning.
An important focus of Holy Family is to provide high quality early education to all children, especially children in lower socio-economic conditions. Through the subsidized program by WV DHHR, Holy Family provides financial assistance to families who otherwise would not be able to afford childcare. Our doors are open to all who want to attend as DHHR subsidized participants. Other centers limit the number of children receiving assistance, Holy Family does not. The fact that Holy Family does not limit the number of families in need of financial assistance contributes to its innovative approach. Currently, 41% of our enrolled children are subsidized, a reflection of the high unemployment and underemployment in the Ohio Valley.