By Zarina Khairzada
INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Whether it is story time, learning about personal hygiene or how to socialize — dozens of parents are trying to give their children the best start in life through a program for low-income families.
Like most mothers, Julie May learned how to be a mother once she had her three daughters.
“It’s very special. I get chills like I get very excited I know they get very excited when it’s time to brush their teeth, to feed them to clean to wash their hands,” said May.
May has motherly love, but she wasn’t always able to give her children the attention they need. May said she feels that it led to her oldest daughter falling behind in school.
“I didn’t feel that I was a mom before because I was a career woman, I had somebody else taking care of my daughter and I wasn’t giving her my full attention. Now I’m learning how to do that,” May said.
May enrolled her two-year-old twin daughters in the Children First Early Head Start program with the Venice Family Clinic in Inglewood. The clinic provides free learning sessions for low-income families.
The program teaches parents with children up to 3 years old how to bond and help them grow. Past reports show how the program has helped low-income children gain a better start when it is time for them to enroll in school.
“It’s important for them to start early because the research shows that the brain development starts at zero, at pregnancy, and so we’re able to lay the foundation for children for success for school and later in life,” said Children First Early Head Start Director at the Venice Family Clinic, Stacey Scarborough.
Recently, the program received a five-year federal grant that will allow the head start program to help more than 375 families. May is grateful to share the experience with her daughters as they prepare for preschool.
“I know they are going to be ready for it because the program has helped us to you know give them that start. That advantage, so they can do way better in school,” May said.
May’s twins only have about six months left of the early head start program. Together, they have learned a lot. May said she is grateful to give her children the best start possible start by learning how to be the mom she always wanted to be.