Erik Hite legacy grows with first responders daycare - Tucson News Now

Erik Hite legacy grows with first responders daycare

Tucson is home to an innovative child-care program that came out of tragedy. Tucson Police officer Erik Hite was killed in the line of duty, June 2nd, 2008. The next year, his wife founded the Erik Hite Foundation in his memory. Today, that foundation offers a unique kind of daycare for certain families.

Located on the city's east side, this child development center is the first of its kind anywhere in the country. It caters to children six weeks old, all the way up to 12 years old. What all these kids have in common is that they come from families of police officers, firefighters, military personnel and all other emergency responders.

"Four years ago...I had a vision, a dream to honor Erik," Nohemy Hite, his wife, said.

She knows firsthand how hard it is to find good, flexible daycare.

"The hours, they were just crazy. He was taking weekends and nights,” she said, recalling her late husband's work schedule.

Erik Hite served 21 years in the Air Force before becoming a Tucson Police officer.

To honor his life of service, Nohemy started the Erik Hite Foundation - aimed at helping those who've dedicated their lives to helping others.

"We're currently serving 17 different agencies in Pima County," she said of her Child Care Center, located near Broadway and Kolb. “On a daily basis, we have from 30 to 45 children here."

The Child Care Center provides age-appropriate enrichment, after-school programs, highly trained instructors, 24-hour security and real-time web cams that allow parents and loved ones to view their child at any time.

Parents absolutely rave about the center's flexible hours and competitive rates.

"Usually daycare is open about 9 to 5,” says Lisa Jeffrey, a Tucson Police officer and mother of two. “I can bring my son here at 6:30 in the morning. And if he needs to say here until 8 at night, they are very helpful with that."

Jeffrey's not the only one who appreciates the fact the center's open every day from 5:30 in the morning until midnight.

Sheena Edwards and her husband are both active-duty at Davis Monthan Air Force Base.

“Basically, we'd get charged a fee for every minute we'd be late in the afternoon picking him up,” Sheena said of the daycare on base. “And here we don't have that trouble.”

Originally from South Carolina and Alabama, the Edwards have no relatives in Tucson, yet another reason the Child Care Center makes so much sense for military families.

"Even weekend care- sometimes it's a necessity we have to work on weekends,” Sheena said, holding her seven-month-old son. “If we let them know up front that's going to happen, they have no problem working around our schedule so we really appreciate it. We love it."

Just as Nohemy loves that she's able to help others…the same way her husband and best friend did for so many years.

“It's healing for me and for my family,” she said, tears welling in her eyes. “Knowing that Erik's name is still helping -- he's not here physically, but his name is helping our first responders' community."

A second Child Care Center is already in the works and could be built on the city's northwest side within the next two years.

For more information about the Erik Hite Foundation Child Care Center, go to:

Website: http://erikhitefoundation.org/index.php/childcare

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Vigil at Nogales border for kids separated from families

    Vigil at Nogales border for kids separated from families

    Sunday, June 24 2018 1:46 AM EDT2018-06-24 05:46:13 GMT
    Organizers set up their vigil alongside the border fence Saturday (Source: Tucson News Now).Organizers set up their vigil alongside the border fence Saturday (Source: Tucson News Now).
    Organizers set up their vigil alongside the border fence Saturday (Source: Tucson News Now).Organizers set up their vigil alongside the border fence Saturday (Source: Tucson News Now).

    Dozens came from as far as Flagstaff to Nogales in honor of the thousands of children waiting to be reunited with their parents. They may have been a small group, but they had a big message. "We want to make sure that those kids still get back to their families," said Christie Black, who traveled from Mesa for the vigil. Black and Julie Jorgenson never met in person until Saturday.

    Dozens came from as far as Flagstaff to Nogales in honor of the thousands of children waiting to be reunited with their parents. They may have been a small group, but they had a big message. "We want to make sure that those kids still get back to their families," said Christie Black, who traveled

  • Border Patrol responds to large group of immigrants in Arizona desert

    Border Patrol responds to large group of immigrants in Arizona desert

    Saturday, June 23 2018 10:38 PM EDT2018-06-24 02:38:11 GMT
    (Source: Border Patrol Tucson)(Source: Border Patrol Tucson)

    Border Patrol agents arrested a group of more than 50 illegal immigrants, including a pregnant woman, Friday afternoon west of Lukeville, according to a release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

    Border Patrol agents arrested a group of more than 50 illegal immigrants, including a pregnant woman, Friday afternoon west of Lukeville, according to a release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

  • Firework sales begin, can be lit starting Sunday

    Firework sales begin, can be lit starting Sunday

    Friday, June 22 2018 11:40 PM EDT2018-06-23 03:40:36 GMT

    The Fourth of July is creeping up quick, and that means several vendors like Desert Sky Fireworks on Cortaro and I-10 are getting ready for the season. The location set up shop on Friday.  "Lining them all up on the road -- lighting them all up and competing with the neighbors," said Ashley Walling, who runs the shop. Fireworks sparked her interest at an early age.   She started selling them when she was sixteen in ...

    The Fourth of July is creeping up quick, and that means several vendors like Desert Sky Fireworks on Cortaro and I-10 are getting ready for the season. The location set up shop on Friday. "Lining them all up on the road -- lighting them all up and competing with the neighbors," said Ashley Walling.

Powered by Frankly