Six years ago, Helena and David needed affordable, high-quality early childhood education for their two young children. Even though they stretched their dollars for private daycare, it wasn’t flexible or affordable enough to allow Helena to both study and work part-time as a nursing assistant.

Helena and David posing with their three children at CentroNía in Takoma Park, MD.

Finding CentroNía made an immediate difference in their family’s life. Helena remembers with pride how quickly her children flourished at CentroNía, learning to speak English and Spanish, in addition to the Cwi (the native language of Burkina Faso) they spoke at home. Meanwhile, Helena could pursue her nursing degree while also working. “I’ve been able to prosper in my career, knowing that my children are in a safe environment that promotes their learning and development,” Helena says. 

Her family has participated in many of CentroNía’s programs and events, including the Fatherhood Initiative and workshops on financial planning, entrepreneurship, and nutrition and wellness. “Since my children have been here, I’ve been enlightened to so many things,” she shared. “CentroNía has become part of my family!”

CentroNía also offered vital support when the children were ready for kindergarten by guiding the family through the school selection and enrollment processes. Now, Helena’s third and youngest child, two-year-old Helen, is preparing to transition from CentroNía’s home-based Early Head Start program to center-based care. While this next step will be a challenge for her daughter, Helena is confident she’ll do well. Meanwhile, Helena herself will finally earn the nursing degree she’s been working towards.

Helena and her family are a perfect example of how high-quality early childhood education and support services transform a child’s life as well as that of an entire family. Investing in early childhood education creates an intergenerational cycle of opportunity that will have a positive impact on generations to come.

David and his daughter Helen painting pumpkins at a fall family activity.

This is why CentroNía needs YOU as a champion of our community. Your donation this holiday season will help ensure that CentroNía continues to be a safe, supportive place for our children to learn and grow. You have the opportunity to make a difference in their lives and to make our community stronger.