Chattanooga's Chambliss Center in need of help to reach more children

Instructor Cassie Anderson, center, tries to make Zaylee Brown, right, laugh, with Kadrin Grearing on Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014, at the Chambliss Center for Children in Chattanooga, Tenn. The center began as the Women's Christian Association in 1872 to house children orphaned by the yellow fever epidemic, and it continues today with programs like 24 hour pre-kindergarten services.

It used to be harder to keep new teachers in Hamilton County's public schools. A young woman who graduated from college would get a teaching job, get married, have a baby -- and quit.

Then eight schools saw their exodus of new hires slow to a trickle after the Chambliss Center for Children in 2002 began to offer in-school child care for teachers' and principals' children as young as 6 weeks old.

"It made it all work for me," said Jill Levine.

The Chambliss Center for Children history

It began in 1872 as the Women's Christian Association, a food bank and clothes closet for orphaned girls living above a downtown saloon. The first orphanage opened in 1878 in rented space downtown.