When Stephany, her husband and their three children moved to Fort Collins, a change in family circumstances required that she begin working full-time. With both parents now working, she needed to find childcare for her then 3 year old daughter Delilah, but her family was far away, and she felt alone and overwhelmed.
Childcare and preschool in the Fort Collins/Loveland area is hard to come by. Childcare is difficult for low-income families to afford, and all childcare facilities - especially those offering affordable services - have very long waiting lists. It can take over a year to get a child into a program. That said, after connecting with a Career Pathway Facilitator through The Matthews House and completing a course in Phlebotomy, Stephany was referred to Lisa, the Be Ready Early Childhood Navigator at The Matthews House Community Life Center.
Lisa helped Stephany navigate the often complicated and daunting task of finding childcare for Delilah. "I was afraid I would have to leave her with somebody I didn't know," Stephany said. "Lisa's support was very helpful." Now, Delilah is enrolled in a great preschool program, loves learning new things and is meeting new friends. And Stephany is thriving at work.
"Everything has changed for the better for Delilah. Her speech is improving, she sings her ABC's, everything. She's like a little grown-up now," Stephany says with a smile. "I feel like I'm in the right place and Delilah's in the right place. Thank you to all the donors and volunteers out there. Everything you're doing means something - you're not doing it in vain, you're doing it in gain. I can't thank you enough."
Hear what Stephany had to say about her experience with us in the short video below.
Your support of United Way and its partners helps more local families, like Delilah's, get the support they need to break the cycle of poverty and build a brighter future.