Erika McMillan is passing out flyers, putting up banners, and spreading the word about her child-care center, Erika’s Family Child Care. McMillan, a licensed child-care provider, operates the child-care center, located in the 6700 block of N. 16th St, in the evening while she continues to work full time as a teacher and cheerleading coach at the Hope Church Christian School. After she leaves her day job, the African American mother of three is busy advertising her business which she launched in April 2012. McMillan--awarded a Keystone STAR 1 rating for her facility, and working on obtaining a STAR 2 status--is among a growing number of child-care operators in Philadelphia bridging the gap to provide services in sections of Philadelphia where the African American population has risen.
According to key findings of the 2010 Census released by The Pew Charitable Trusts, several neighborhoods experienced a shift in the ethnic and racial composition since 1990. Philadelphia’s white population fell by nearly a third, and the black population shifted to various sections of the city. In Oak Lane, there was a decrease in the white and Asian population and an increase in the African American and Hispanic population. From 1990 to 2010, the white population decreased from 4,114 to 966 and the Asian population decreased from 543 to 530. Meanwhile, the African American population in Oak Lane grew from 12, 205 in 1990 to 13,208 in 2010 and the Hispanic population grew from 397 in 1990 to 636 in 2010.
The report also stated that the number of blacks living in the neighborhoods of Olney and Feltonville saw an increase of 239 percent. The number of blacks living in the two neighborhoods rose from 9,786 to 33,209. In Elmwood, a section located in Southwest Philadelphia, the black population rose from 6, 586 to 22,518. Philadelphia lost around 29,000 residents from 2000 to 2006, but is still growing. In May 2010, the estimated total was 1,547,607. McMillan, an experienced child-care worker, is confident that more children, whatever their origin, will come.