Since the 1990’s, Neve Hanna has operated not only the family units but also three daycare units. 7-14 year-old children from low socioeconomic families who have experienced neglect or have been diagnosed as special needs children join the daycare centers. These children often display aggressive behavior, suffer from developmental, scholastic and behavioral problems and have low self esteem. Children on these programs are involved in the remedial teaching program, receive emotional support and take part in all social and leisure activities at Neve Hanna.
The daycare program offers therapeutic treatment and scholastic assistance to children with behavioral and social problems whose families struggle in addition with a variety of different hardships. The Jewish and Bedouin participants form bonds based on mutual respect, friendship and acknowledgement of the other. It is thus that the two groups are brought closer in the purpose of fighting bias, establishing a liberal worldview based on values of international understanding, tolerance and pluralism among children as well as adults.
An essential factor in the success of this venture is parents’ cooperation. They enroll their children in the daycare program as an active step toward a foreseeable change. They take part in a program designed especially for them, including joint parent-child-activities and future activities for parents only, aiming to bring together Jewish and Bedouin parents.
Daily Routine: Children in the daycare programs arrive at Neve Hanna after their school day has ended. The Jewish children come from Kiryat Gat, while the Bedouin children come from Rahat. They have lunch together and then start group activity. One hour is devoted to doing homework with the help of counselors. Children then go to individual therapy programs or join leisure time activities and courses. After dinner, children are driven home.
Therapy Program: An individual therapeutic program is suited for each child according to individual emotional and academic needs and personal preferences. It is our goal to promote their scholastic achievements, to let them enjoy leisure time activities and to receive appropriate therapeutic treatments. Children in the daycare centers sleep at home and spend the weekends with their families. Neve Hanna social workers pay home visits regularly. Parental cooperation is critical for the success of this program in order to help children out of the crisis they are in. Regular meetings with parents provide assistance and parents discuss their difficulties in order to change behavioral patterns causing problems in familial functioning. After many years of experience operating the daycare centers, it may be said that both children and parents show satisfaction from children’s advancement and from the improvement in familial issues.