As budget cuts strip services and quality from so many educational programs, I realize how fortunate I have been to have my children be able to attend a Keystone STAR 4 program.
When I first began looking for child care for my then two year-old son Hayden, I was completely overwhelmed to say the least. My older daughter had always been taken care of by family members and friends while I worked, so this was all new territory for me. I had no idea what the Keystone STARS program was or that a program such as this even existed.
When my husband and I went to interview with Jenifer Abraham at Special Tots Time in Milton, I was immediately hooked. She sat down with us and explained in detail what the program was about and how it gave kids the jumpstart they needed for kindergarten and beyond. Since I was working nine hour days, I didn't have the time to devote to my child's education in the way I wanted to. I knew immediately that this is exactly what I was looking for.
Just a few days later, Hayden began attending the daycare. Hayden was a shy and timid child. The fact that this was a smaller home daycare was perfect for him. "Miss Jen" was wonderful from day one. Not only was he learning colors and his ABC's and 123's, he was also learning skills that he would need for the rest of his life. He was now signing to help communicate his needs and using manners. He was even eating vegetables! I noticed a difference in him almost immediately. He was growing into a great and more confident young man.
Hayden was advancing so greatly, and we were so impressed, that when I became pregnant with my third child, there was no question as to where she would stay while we worked. Billie is now a very active two year-old. Just like her brother, she is advancing in all areas of her life thanks to the STARS program.
It is easy to recognize that Special Tots Time has not only provided a warm and nurturing environment, but has also helped my children grow through creative engaging learning activities. The social experiences and structure of the daycare provided an effective basis for Hayden to emerge from his tendency to be shy. He now readily interacts with other children in a variety of settings.
I have often noted that the activities that my children participated in were so much more fun, as well as functional, as compared to the programs my friend's children attend. Pajama day and painting and cooking activities have created some of their fondest memories.
I am so grateful that my kids had the opportunity to attend Special Tots Time. It has given my son the tools to have such a great and effortless transition to school, and provides my daughter with exceptional quality of learning and care. My children truly are Shining Stars.
Submitted by Renee K., Hayden's mother