My name is Kassandra Reyes, I’m a developmental specialist with Kidango and I live in Fremont. As a single mother, having reliable, consistent and affordable childcare is not an option, it’s a must. It’s hard enough to get by as a single parent with one income. Stressing where a child will be cared for, how well they will be cared for and how much it’s going to affect someone’s income, is one of the last things I believe parents should be worried about. I planned to enroll my son in a day care facility at the age of one, but quickly learned how difficult that could be. I was fortunate enough to find Kidango to enroll my son in preschool, however, enrolling my son in a toddler program was difficult and never happened because of lack of care facilities, available space, and it was unaffordable.
When my son turned three, I was finally able to enroll him full time in a Kidango preschool center, due to his age and qualifying for a subsidized fee. Being able to enroll my boy in a preschool program has been a blessing for us both. At his center he was able to develop personal relationships with his teachers that allowed for him to feel supported and believed in. One of my favorite aspects as a parent who wants to see their child thrive, is Kidango’s implementation of the SEEDS curriculum. This allows for my son to be kindergarten ready. Furthermore, while they focus on kindergarten readiness, they are also focusing on his social emotional development and really allowing him to grow in his social interactions and emotional understanding of others, which is really important to me as a mother.
My son attending preschool full time at a center that provides him quality care, allows for me to be a working mom and one who provides for my son and I. This should be the case for all families. All families should have access to quality infant/ toddler care and pre-k. Families should never have to question if they are sending their children somewhere with high quality care. High quality pre-k is a must!
And families’ shouldn’t have to struggle to find that. I envision my child and other children going to school where they are valued, there’s high quality care, teachers believe in equity, and no matter where their school site is, there’s the same amount of funding, resources, opportunities and supplies provided to the staff and children. I urge you to pass a budget that builds a strong 0-5 early childhood education system, including quality infant and toddler child care and transitional kindergarten for all. Families need access to affordable, high quality child care and pre-kindergarten to help set their children on a path to success. And teachers need more support and higher wages that recognize the role they play in nurturing our youngest learners.
– Kassandra Reyes, Mother of a 4 year old, Fremont