Child care changed this family's life for the better
Nancy Rios and Ramon Salazar, who both work at a Panda Express restaurant, used to have a hard time coming up with the $250-300 a week that it costs to have a babysitter watch their three children in Oxnard, CA.
Then someone told Rios and Salazar that they could apply for the CalWorks child care program for low-income working families. Through CalWorks, caring for their children isn't only more affordable, but they both agreed that it made an immediate, positive difference in their children's lives, one they could see in only three months.
"They call it a school," Salazar said. "They have all the things a preschool would have."
"They've been speaking more clearly, too," Rios said, attributing the children's improved language skills to their interaction with the other kids.
And that hasn't been the only big change. "It was really hard for us to potty train our oldest son, but she did it," said Salazar, referring to the family's child care provider, Leonor Fernandez. "She really helped us with that."
"Though they're still in a home," Rios added. "As soon as I saw her house and the environment, I loved it. They love it. It's really good practice for them for when they go to school. Also, we work late and we have 24 hour care now."
The couple explained that Fernandez took the children home in the evenings, even putting them to bed after a few activities designed to tire them out.
"We used to have to pick them up late. We get off at midnight," Salazar said, "and we'd sometimes notice that they'd get sniffles the next day from walking them out in the cold."
"Everything's just been changed for the better," Salazar said.
Ensure the Rios-Salazar family continues to get quality child care, click here to support federal funding for early education in the states.