National studies show that the quality of care that infants and toddlers receive has a direct and long-lasting effect on a child’s healthy development and future success in school. Yet in Massachusetts, child care cost are among the highest in the nation and local Child Care Referral Agencies report that many parents are removing their children from licensed programs to informal child care settings to better make ends meet. Parents want quality child care for their children, but, safety, health and school readiness come at a cost that many parents cannot afford.
This was the dilemma that Diana and Alfredo Carvajal faced when their family expanded from one child to three with the birth of twins. In addition to the financial repercussions-paying childcare for three– eldest son Santiago was experiencing the growing pains of sharing his parents with two younger siblings. His behavior was challenging at Y pre-school and at home and the parents were frayed with worry.
“We turned to the Y teachers for help, and they didn’t let us down,” said Diana. “The teachers helped Santiago understand his feelings about the twins and learn how to be a big brother, and the administrators patiently helped us complete the financial aid paperwork required for a subsidy, allowing us to afford to enroll the twins and keep Santiago in a place where he was thriving and very happy. The children are receiving the educational foundation for a strong start in public school; we’re both able to work with piece of mind that our children are safe and being loved; and we’re strengthening our family’s future. I am forever thankful.”
Excellence in programming, combined with affordability is the hallmark of the East Boston YMCA’s Early Childhood Education Center, and the lifeline for the Carvajal Family. The specialized attention every child received is matched by a commitment to ensure that parents’ needs are met.
“Here at the East Boston YMCA we give out over $200,000 in financial aid to families each year who are in need in our community,” said the Y’s Operations Manager Joseph Gaeta. “We raise this money through financial donations from members like you. We would not be able to ensure that families receive adequate care and services if our community did not support us. Every dollar raised stays in East Boston.”
Gaeta said people can help by attending the Y’s 2015 Annual Reach Out for Youth Breakfast on Thursday, April 2. A ticket is just $25 dollars and table of 10 is $250. To purchase a ticket please contact Joey Gaeta at [email protected] or 617-418-8321.