The Sixpence Early Learning Program is an innovative public-private partnership that funds school districts around the state to create high-quality early learning experiences for babies and toddlers in poverty, with teen parents and exposed to other risk factors. The program is unique in that as much focus is placed on educating the parent to be their child’s most effective teacher.
Jaime was not yet a senior in high school when she learned she was expecting her first baby. As frightening as that realization was, Jamie knew she could choose to give her child a better start by seeking
help from the Early Steps to School Success program offered through the local Sixpence partnership in Columbus, NE. Working with the program staff, Jaime received prenatal care during her pregnancy, participated in home visiting services, and made healthy choices for herself and her child.
When Violeta was born in May 2014, Jaime continued to meet regularly with early childhood professionals through the Sixpence-funded home visiting program. These specialists taught Jaime how to nurture Violeta’s early development by coaching her as her daughter’s most important caregiver and educator.
Jaime started school as a full-time senior this year, and is working hard with a goal of continuing her education in college to earn a degree in nursing. Jaime is confident that the Sixpence-funded Early Steps to School Success program had an enormous impact on her life and that of her young daughter.
“The program has helped me
make better choices . . . It helped
me to prepare for the baby, and
now that she’s here, I have more
information about her growth,
“The program has helped me make better choices,” said Jaime, adding how much she valued the emotional support she received. “I understand that I am very important to someone (her home visitor). It helped me to prepare for the baby, and now that she’s here, I have more information about her growth, her development—everything about her.”
Sixpence and Early Steps to School Success were instrumental in helping Jaime choose a path to success for herself and her child that might otherwise have been closed to them. Given the right kinds of supports, Jaime is well on her way to becoming a self-sufficient, skilled parent, while Violeta is getting the early interactions, experiences and environments she’ll need to thrive in school and beyond.