As we prepare to ring in the new year, it’s important to remember the need for early childhood education and care for families in our community.
We would like to share with you the story of Andrea and Juan, who needed infant care to continue working after their first son, Daniel, was born. Like so many families who must work multiple jobs, they had to turn to to an informal home-based care provider. Andrea still tears up remembering how Daniel’s changing and feeding needs were not being met. The family was referred to CentroNía for an affordable solution and even relocated close to one of our centers. As Daniel progressed through our prekindergarten and before- and after-school programming, they witnessed him becoming more confident and social.
Daniel on a Studio R.O.C.K.S. field trip with friends. “My teacher Ms. Nancy has been a second mother to me.”
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought hardship for the family. As service industry workers, Juan and Andrea, now pregnant with their second son, José, were precluded from working for months. With so many families in the same boat, CentroNía stepped up its family support and community relief efforts, distributing large amounts of food, PPE and hygiene supplies, and financial relief. The couple’s second son, José, is now in his second year at CentroNía.
"For our children, it’s almost like I’m not working at all,” Andrea shares. “I’m there when they get dropped off, and then I’m there when school is over.”
She is relieved that José receives instruction at CentroNía to promote his learning and development. His teachers keep the family well informed of José’s progress and let them know how to build upon the curriculum at home. José is now an active boy, clapping happily, as he tumbles on foam blocks or plays the tambourine.
Daniel is sad to be in his final year at CentroNía but has big plans for the future. “I want to be a chef,” he smiles widely. “Then a doctor, and then in the army. Then I’m going to be the president.”
After interviewing about their experience with CentroNía for an upcoming documentary series on the early childhood sector, Andrea confides, “I feel relieved, now that I’ve been able to express what CentroNía means to me.”
Watching Daniel and his family flourish as they embrace new opportunities for educational success and economic well-being, illustrates the true nature of early childhood services as a two-generation solution. With your support, our programs and services can continue to reach those families who need them most.
Please consider giving today and on behalf of our CentroNía families, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!