Having a baby is life changing. As parents fall in love with their new baby, they develop a new set of worries. For Shannon, a homeless, single mother of infant twins, her obstacles and concerns overwhelmed her.
Early Head Start
Determined to give her children the best life possible, Shannon enrolled her children into the Early Head Start home visitation program after making temporary living arrangements. Early Head Start teaches parents of infants and toddlers parenting skills and early childhood development for ages 0-3.
A Growing Family
When the twin's father came back to Shannon's life, the family’s dynamic changed. Soon, Shannon became pregnant again and enrolled as a pregnant mother in our Home Base program. During her pregnancy, Shannon enrolled in online courses to become a medical assistant.
When the twins turned 1 year old, they were transferred to the Early Head Start classroom. Shannon continued to receive home visitation services when the new baby was born. Head Start is committed to helping the whole family and works to get both mothers and fathers involved and equipped to be great parents. After a while, the father started participating in classes to learn parenting and help his children.
Continuing Education and a Bright Future
Once Shannon's baby turned 1 year old, she was transferred from Home Base services to the Early Head Start classroom. This allowed Shannon to continue her education, and attend college classes on campus.
A lot has changed for Shannon and her family over the years. This year, the baby is transitioning to our 3-year-old Head Start classroom. The twins attended Head Start for two years, and are now enrolled in Kindergarten and are expected to thrive.
That isn’t all that has changed. The family has found new security, both adults are working and they have become first time home owners.
Changes at Westside Head Start
Catholic Charities Westside Head Start helps families in transition or experiencing hardships every day. Our staff works with families in their homes and dozens of classrooms in western Maricopa County. On July 1, Catholic Charities Westside Head Start program became a grantee agency and started improvements to its classes.
There will now be two teachers in every classroom with each teacher teaching only one session. This will allow for more planning, professional development and training for our teachers.
Our Head Start classrooms have traditionally been half day programs. Now some classrooms will also have full day opportunities that will make it easier for working parents to take advantage of the program. This new grant will also provide some need improvements to Head Start classrooms with improved signage and flooring.