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Makayla’s Story: Early Head Start’s Impact on Three Generations

Makayla is a shy, sweet two year old who loves to learn. “She likes to play tea party and read books,” her mother Katina tells me. “She’ll copy anything you say.” A few months ago, Katina and Makayla’s father Jeremy contacted All Our Kin about enrolling her in an Early Head Start (EHS) program. Katina had been staying home with her daughter for the first few years of her life, but now she wanted to go back to school. Were there any open spots for Makayla?

A grandmother’s legacy

Although it was Makayla’s first time enrolling in a child care program and she doesn’t have any older siblings, her parents Katina and Jeremy were already familiar with All Our Kin’s work. Jeremy’s mother Elizabeth Fain had been a beloved family child care provider in All Our Kin’s network until her death in 2013 after a long battle with cancer. Ms. Fain participated in All Our Kin’s associate credential classes and the New Teacher Mentor program, and when our Early Head Start program got off the ground, she was one of the first providers to apply. “Even though she knew that Early Head Start had high standards and required a big commitment, she was determined to give kids the best start possible,” said Paula, All Our Kin’s senior educational consultant. “She worked tirelessly; she always went the extra mile.”

Ms. Fain was a source of wisdom and guidance for many in her community. Other providers looked to her for advice on running their own child care programs, and parents relied on her whenever they had questions about their children’s health and development. “We all admired her completely at All Our Kin,” Paula told me. “She taught the kids in her program to be good listeners, respectful, ready for school. She was a kind, wonderful person.”

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