Maria is a single mom who had been working full time at a hospital and attending community college to obtain a degree and a better paying job. She couldn’t afford to pay much for child care so she used it sparingly, relying on family members to fill in the gaps when they could. Days would go by when she would get little to no sleep, so it was a struggle to keep up with her studies. When she and her son were together, Maria was so tired and stressed out, she struggled to be the good parent she had always hoped to be.
This is an actual family that was referred to Child Care Counts soon after we opened our doors. Child Care Counts is a unique non-profit serving hard-working families in the greater Washington DC area (including surrounding counties in MD and VA) by helping them afford a quality, safe, dependable child care provider. For families in need, there are organizations that provide help with housing, food, electric bills and other essential needs but it is very difficult to find help for child care costs – especially the kind of help that allows parents to access quality.
This is where Child Care Counts steps in and gets to work.
For Maria, we were able to help her pay for three days a week at a quality child care center near her home. Those three days were enough to help her stay on a more even keel and finish her degree - even making the Dean’s list. Her son’s speech and social skills improved greatly after he started attending a child care program that provided more structure and enrichment during the day.
Most of our families are headed by single parents, many of whom have little to no family support. By easing a huge stressor for these parents, we are helping them be better parents and to be able to focus on jobs or school. Their children benefit by being able to attend nurturing, educational and fun programs where they learn positive social interactions with teachers and other children and many skills that will help them be successful when they start kindergarten. We also provide parents with one-on-one financial counseling so that they can learn tools for money management that will set them on a more stable financial path.
When a partner refers a family to Child Care Counts, we know this is a family truly in need. The help we give to these families is life changing. Together, parents and children are building solid foundations that will help them both achieve life goals. The need is great, and we can’t do it without the help of supporters who understand how important child care is to the fabric of our communities.
YOU can be the face of change for struggling families in the greater DC area! Please consider making Child Care Counts one of your Combined Federal Campaign charities this year!