For a group of moms in Peoria, help is coming in the form of babysitters.
Their job is about much more than naptime and changing diapers, though.
It's about changing lives.
Valerie Sager has a knack for taking care of kids.
"Probably close to 400 or so moms and babies," she recalls.
She's been at it a long time, has served as director of the Westminster Infant Care Center for 13 years.
"It's changed me. It's been life changing. I feel like I've become a new person after doing this job," Sager says.
Valerie isn't just watching kids.
These kids all have something in common.
All of their mothers are teenagers.
Mary Jo Tutt gets on the bus at about 6 a.m. every day.
She's a senior at Peoria High School.
Her two year old daughter, Kayden, goes to daycare, while her mom is at school.
Every day the two get up at 5 a.m.
Then, it's coats on and out the door.
Kayden stays here at Westminster with several other kids.
Their moms go to District 150 schools.
They're picked up from their houses every morning.
They drop their kids off at daycare and buses take them to class.
It's a place, they didn't expect to be...in high school, and having a baby.
"It was scary. I didn't know what I was gonna do. I played basketball before, so, I was pretty much being selfish, wondering what I was gonna do about that instead of actually noticing what I was getting myself into," explains Mary Jo Tutt.
They say these caretakers are more like saviors.
"I don't know where my daughter would go, if it wasn't for it," says Tutt.
"We are more of a holistic center in many ways. We do a lot of, even, social work. We're the mommies, we're the grandmas, if there are needs, we try to help them. If we can't, we try to find resources out in the community that can help them," explains Sager.
The W.I.C.C. program provides all of that transportation, makes sure moms are going to school, succeeding, and giving their babies what they need to do the same.
It's all for only $2 a month.
"That's a lot, knowing that I'm still in school, so I don't have time for a job, so, that's a big break," says Tutt.
"It's vital that they at least finish their high school education," adds Sager. "Not only for themselves, but for their children as well."
The help is lining-up Mary Jo and her daughter for their future.
Mary Jo wants to finish her cosmetology program at District 150, and get a business degree so she can open her own salon chain.
She knows she's one of the lucky ones, having seen other teen moms like her drop out of school.
"For them, it's kinda hard because they have no one but themselves," adds Tutt.
Mary Jo knows she has a team of supporters.
Supporters, trying to change the stigma of being a teen mom.
Changing it for girls like Mary Jo, who've made the best of a less than ideal situation, made the best of that title, teen mom.
Now, their future is possible. And all it took was a little help.
"I wouldn't take it back, I'm glad she's here," adds Tutt about her daughter. "She's changed me a lot, for the better."
The Westminster Infant Care Center works with Child Care Connection to provide financial aid for moms.
To learn more, email WICC: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 309.674.6701