JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Mothers battling substance abuse now have a way to stay close to their children while they're getting help.

Gateway Community Services opened its new Children's Zone day care center Monday morning. Gateway's leaders say this new center will allow mothers to get treatment without losing custody of their children, or without losing daily contact with them.

"Gateway was the first substance abuse treatment center in the nation to recognize the importance of keeping women and children together during treatment for drugs and alcohol," said CEO Candace Hodgkins. 

Hodgkins' predecessor, Dr. Virginia Borrock, initiated the first substance treatment program in the United States that permitted babies to remain with their mothers in treatment birth. Borrock was on hand at Monday's event.

Part of the funding for the center came from the Weaver Family Foundation, and former Jaguars owners Wayne and Delores Weaver were on hand for the opening ceremony. Builders Care, Lumber Unlimited, White Roofing, RD Landscaping, Late Bloomers Garden Club, First Timothy Church, Wells Fargo also contributed to the new center.