As the community organizer at Kidango, I get the privilege to interview our families to learn about their experience in accessing child care and preschool, and why child care matters to them. This week, I spoke with Samaher, a mom of four kids, two of which are less than five years old. She shared how child care programs for low-income families, like Kidango, helped her to finish her studies and pursue her PhD in industrial engineering.
In her words, “Adam finished last August and just recently started Kindergarten. He was in Kidango for 3 years and a half and Reem just joined him last year. I started in 2019, actually I started looking at Head Start because at that time I just moved from New York and started my internship in Fremont. So when I came here to California, I started looking for child care support since I’m a student and still on a student visa and can’t work. It’s very expensive here in California, I can’t afford it. So I started looking for it and heard that there were openings at Kidango but there is a waiting list and you have to apply. So I waited maybe one month or two months and then I did the application and submitted all the paperwork. They accepted Adam at that time but they did not have any spots for Reem. She was around 2 years old at that time, less than 2 years actually. I was only able to get her in [child care] only last year, when she finished her 3rd year. When she turned 3 she was still on the waiting list. After I moved her [to Kidango] I saw the big difference in her personality because there are more kids, more teachers, and a different environment . I was looking for something like that before but I couldn’t find it for her. I couldn’t afford any day care really.
I want to share this story because I know that people with low income really struggle, especially in California. I want to share this, not for me because I’m almost done. I will graduate maybe this year. My daughter, this will be her last year with Kidango. Next year, she will move to Kindergarten. I want other families to have this service as well. I want families, especially single moms to get a chance to build their career and have a good future not only for themselves but also for their kids. Child Care is a good support for families because it’s very challenging for anyone to manage. There are families that grandfather, grandmother are not around for support, so I think SB50 will be a great help to anyone or family here in California. “
Samaher is currently doing a research internship in Fremont, California. Her son just started Kindergarten and her youngest is in preschool. She states, “without this support I can’t imagine the situation”.