“Jackson” is three years old. He learned to make himself small and quiet when his dad was yelling at and hitting his mom. Then late one night, his mom called the police to come to their house while she and Jackson left with a bag of clothes and some toothbrushes and went to the Shelter for Help in Emergency. The folks at the shelter were really nice and his mom finally got a job so they could move out. But they did not own anything or have any savings, so how was his mom going to be able to pay for child care when they did not even have any furniture?
The average annual cost of child care in our area is $8,200. Jackson’s mom would have a hard time keeping her job if they had to rely on a patchwork of friends and family to watch after him.
Other kids Jackson’s age have shelves full of books at home and their own library cards. They have been to children’s museums, are enrolled in music and tumbling classes, and have computers at home. Jackson would be entering kindergarten way behind his peers and probably would not catch up.
Luckily, a case worker told his mom about our United Way’s Child Care Scholarship program, which helps low income working families afford quality, stable early childhood education. Jackson is now enrolled in a highly rated preschool program that will provide him with the social, emotional and learning skills he will need to enter kindergarten at the same level as his peers. His future looks a lot brighter.
Posted by: Kim Connolly
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