Jodie Washington is a single mother with two small children who spent years going job-to-job in Ithaca.

She hated it. Washington, who has lived in Ithaca 42 years, said she decided to strike out on her own.

“I just decided to do this myself,” Washington said. “I’m going to dedicate my life to this.”

Her business Bright Futures, which opened in 2011, now works with 11 children. She’s had a few dozen children over various points since the business launched.

“We’re not about the money — we’re about the bettering of the children in this community,” Washington said. “We are a program dedicated to the education of children.”

Washington said that there aren’t many African-American women who own their own businesses in Ithaca. She noted that Bright Futures is a state certified school age child care program.

It’s run out of St. Paul’s Church at 402 North Aurora Street for children ages 5-12.

“(Bright Futures) prides itself on teaching children social skills and educational games and activities,” Washington said.

But, “we’re still very fresh nobody knows about us,” Washington said.

Washington also said the child care non-profit program is open Monday through Friday, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., as well as over the summer and days when there isn’t school.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.