I was in an accident while I was pregnant with my daughter, Madison. When she was 6 months old, I needed a place for her to go while I was doing physical therapy. My babysitter started backing out. I needed somewhere reliable.
My older son, who is 15 now, went to Early Head Start. At the time they didn’t accept children younger than 2 years old. When I found out Early Head Start was an option, I checked it out.
I found a New St. Paul Head Start Agency center down the street from my house. I went in to apply and fill out the paperwork. My daughter started the next day.
I was nervous when I first started taking Madison. It’s hard to feel safe with somebody watching your infant outside of your home. I thought, “She’s so little. What if they drop my baby? What if something happens to my baby?” Because you see all the scary stories on the news. But New St. Paul made us feel safe.
Madison is 2 years old now and still loves it. She comes every day. If the center is open, she wants to be here.
Recently, her doctor was worried because Madison wasn’t talking. She wasn’t saying as many words as she should for her age. We weren’t sure if it was because of my accident or something else. I told New St. Paul and they quickly got her disabilities services. A speech therapist comes to our house once a month and they work with Madison at school.
Now, she can say her friends’ names. It’s funny when she says, “That’s my friend Bailey. That’s my friend so-and-so.” She can say the alphabet and knows that M is for Madison. I just love that she’s come out of her shell.
I want other parents to know that Early Head Start is available. If you need it, use it. If you don’t have this support, this is your support and it is amazing.