Providing Access To Quality Early Education and Stability To Struggling Households
November 8, 2017
In Jackson County, WE LIVE UNITED AGAINST POVERTY.
Many working families in our community don’t earn enough to survive from one month to the next. (See the ALICE Report for details.) These families have to make the tough choice of providing basic needs for their households over quality early education and care for their children. They have to settle for affordable options that lack in the areas of safety and educational benefits. Children from these homes are entering school unprepared. United Way of Jackson County supports the FIRST Family Support Program (FSP) through the Child Care Network. This program provides tuition assistance for the most economically vulnerable children in our community so they can access high quality early education programming. At the same time, this program reduces the financial burden of high needs families so parents are able to maintain stable employment, housing, or continuing education. Last year, support from United Way of Jackson County helped 50 children from struggling families gain access to proper early education and child care. This is just one example of why your support matters.
Joshua is a single father to David and Amy. He works hard to care for them. He is currently finishing a vocational program and is looking forward to working in his field. His journey has not been easy. Not too long ago, Joshua was coping with life crises from moment to moment. Amidst the challenges of being a single-parent, Joshua did not have stable and convenient child care to continue in school. Joshua was also shouldering the responsibility of caring for a child with a major health condition, which requires intensive treatment. He would often have to take time off from his job training program to see that Amy received the medical attention needed. With very few supports, and a stretched budget, Joshua was running out of options. With funding provided by the United Way of Jackson County, Joshua received a child care scholarship for his children. David and Amy were able to remain in a safe, nurturing environment to develop educational, social, and emotional skills for success. This was also an environment equipped to care for Amy’s medical needs. Because of this support, Joshua was able to remain enrolled in his training program and has the renewed hope of a better quality of life for his family.
As a result of this program 100% of the children served were able to attend quality child care, 100% of families reported experiencing less stress and worry, and 100% of families felt their child care arrangements were more stable. Many of these families were able to maintain their employment or continue their education. Your support creates a pathway toward stability and success for struggling families in Jackson County.