Erica, mom of Oliver, shares the impact of child care programs and supports.
My family has been positively impacted by many of the programs included in PA Promise. The first program we were enrolled in was CCIS. At the time I was a single mother trying to figure out how I could afford to finish my college degree, work part time and make ends meet while raising my son, Oliver. CCIS made that possible. I was able to enroll my son in a licensed childcare facility in Bradford and one week after he turned one, I was able to graduate with my bachelor’s degree.
While my son was attending childcare, the director had shared concerns about aggressive behaviors and a potential delay with speech. She helped me enroll him into Early Intervention. After one year of services with two service providers, he was able to graduate from Early Intervention. My son excels academically two years later in his pre-k program. Prior to Pre-K, my son was enrolled in Head Start.
While in Head Start, my son learned more social skills with children his age and learned how to model proper classroom behaviors like sharing and interacting with peers, along with number and letter recognition.
Our Parents as Teachers home visitor has referred us to other resources in or community, we were not aware of. She has reassured me as a parent, resources are not just for financially disadvantaged families, but those who may just need the extra boost sometimes. I have seen myself step back and analyze situations differently and give myself more credit, before blaming my parenting styles or myself. My son grasps concepts quickly and seems to always excel academically, but sometimes struggles expressions his emotions. He has made huge improvements, just from a few new ideas our home visitor gave us. Our home visitor has helped our family as a whole in many ways over the last year we have been in the program.
Looking back on the last few years, I can honestly say without the help of CCIS, Early Intervention, Head Start and my child’s Keystone STARS certified childcare facility, we would not be where we are today. Flash forward to today, my son will be enrolling into Kindergarten this fall. This spring my family will be welcoming another baby boy and we are in a much more financially stable position. I can’t thank these programs enough for helping shape the future for my family personally, so much better.