Child Care

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Tina Mergel, Jean Languish, Judy Cahill, Kim Westervelt and Cindy Barcomb, Child Care Technician Team

When they began their 12-month, 1,900 clinical hours of training to become Child Care Technicians, they were young women, most away from home for the first time.  They trained at St. Margaret’s Center and lived in dormitories on the grounds.  The atmosphere was so homelike that in the evening, the young students would go into the unit in their pajamas and slippers to rock the children to sleep.  “I can remember thinking, am I going to be able to do this?” said Cindy Barcomb, “but I fell in love with it instantly.” 

Now, many years later, these women still love their jobs and have become a part of a special family.  Kim Westervelt works mostly with the Special Education and Activity Department where there are music sessions, pet visits, and outdoor activities, if weather and health conditions permit.  Therapeutic massage, reading, and sometimes school work take place bedside.  “These are my kids,” Kim says with obvious pride.  “On vacation, I’ll call in to see how everyone is doing.” 

“I love it when, after you’ve taken care of them and you know they’re comfortable, they might smile.  It seems like a thank you for doing that for me,” notes Cindy Barcomb.  “I think we can each see their individuality.  They are all different, all special to us so it’s easy for us to come in every day and do what we do. My heart stays here with the kids, it really does.”

“It’s almost like your own family, not just the residents, but their families, too,” observes Tina Mergel.  “With these kids, they do understand,” Judy Cahill adds.

According to Jean Languish, “you pull into the St. Margaret’s parking lot and go…home.”  Tina Mergel has these last words: “I can’t imagine not being here at all…I owe my entire life to the fact I came here.  I met and married my husband here…It was definitely the place I was meant to be.”

St. Margaret's handprint

St. Margaret's Center

27 Hackett Boulevard • Albany, New York 12208
Nursing Facility: 518-591-3300