Bere’s Provides Care and Connections for Omaha ParentsDec 01, 2021 12:09PM ● By Kara Schweiss
Photo by Bill Sitzmann
While new entrepreneurs can struggle with forms and paperwork, Martha Berenice Mora had a distinct advantage when she started her child care business in the late 1990s: bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Universidad de Guadalajara and professional accounting experience in her native Mexico. That background put Mora in a good position to start a business in Omaha only a year after she arrived.
The day care is a dream come true for Mora, who always wanted to be an entrepreneur and loves children. It was also a way for Mora to serve her community. She came to the United States to be with her husband, and the savvy businesswoman saw a great need for more child care centers in the Latino community.
Bere’s Child Care is still going strong today.
“Bere is a short name for Berenice,” Mora said, explaining that she often goes by her middle name. “People call me Martha, and people call me Bere.”
The company operates two centers, one at 42nd and F streets, and the other in the heart of South Omaha at 22nd and U streets, that care for children 6 weeks to 13 years old. Teachers lead children through activities and crafts that include educational skills such as learning letters and numbers, but the emphasis is on a caring, welcoming environment, Mora said.
“We let them be more a little kid,” the mother of four explained. “We really love children and we want them to feel like they are at home.”
Meals are homestyle, and the two centers provide transportation during the school year to and from 17 area schools. Bere’s Child Care serves Spanish-speaking and English-speaking clients.
Another distinction? “We are open 24 hours a day,” Mora said. The centers are able to provide child care to families whose wage-earners work second and overnight shifts for employers such as hospitals, restaurants, and manufacturing facilities. “We’re here for them.”
Araceli Sanchez started as a teacher with Bere’s Child Care seven years ago and is now a director. She praised Mora’s support of staff and her efforts to provide career advancement opportunities
“She’s a nice person to work for,” Sanchez said. “She’s always about, ‘If you need anything, let us know.’ She’ll give us guidance, and she is there or calls every day to see how we are doing.”
Staff at child care centers entrusted with the care of children get to know the families of their small charges personally, Mora said, and the parents develop a high level of trust. She and staff can sometimes sense when a family is struggling, or parents share that they need assistance, she said. Mora and her team will help facilitate access to community resources.
“When somebody comes to our day care, and they say it costs too much or they need help with housing or other situations, we try to connect them with people who can help,” she said.
Mora has volunteered with Catholic Charities in the past, and she’s long been involved with activities through her church, Our Lady of Guadalupe, but she said she’s developed community connections simply by being in South Omaha for several decades. Because she was “welcomed with open arms,” Mora said she helps her clients connect to resources not only because she cares, but also because she wants to extend that feeling of being welcomed to others.
“When I opened my business, people helped me a lot. I’m grateful to be here and I really love Omaha. I’m an Omaha girl,” she said. “Since I came to this country I have been blessed. This is a country of opportunities if you work hard and do the
Visit facebook.com/bereschildcarellc for more information.
This article originally appeared in the November/December issue of B2B Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.