A single mother of 5-year-old Delilah, Vanessa was raising her daughter at home and didn’t have the resources to send her to preschool until she found out about United Way’s Tuition Assistance Preschool Scholarship (TAPS) program. With this tuition assistance, Vanessa was able to obtain quality early childhood education for Delilah and prepare her for school.
“Early childhood education has had a big impact on Delilah’s life,” said Vanessa. “She is now able to interact and she’s learned to spell and do math.”
She described Delilah as very shy and without a desire to learn before preschool.
“Delilah can spell now. She knows the sounds that the letters make,” said Vanessa. “She loves to read the Biscuit books, we read together every night.”
United Way invests in the education of children under the age of six because the years between birth to six are the most crucial years of brain development.
To qualify for the TAPS funding, Vanessa volunteered at Delilah’s preschool. The preschool saw her dedication and commitment and hired Vanessa as a substitute teacher, helping to bring in needed income while Vanessa studies to become a pharmacist.
“Now that I am working here I get to be with Delilah and see what she does,” said Vanessa. “I am also making money and I am very grateful because I didn’t have a job before.”
Because of the TAPS program, Vanessa can focus on building a future for her and her daughter.
“Preschool is very expensive,” said Vanessa. “I wouldn’t have been able to afford it and send Delilah to preschool without the help of United Way’s TAP scholarship.”
To Vanessa, the significance of starting her daughter out with meaningful support and the educational background to succeed is significant.
“Preschool is very important for children,” said Vanessa. “It gives them the confidence they need to succeed and prepares them for kindergarten. If children don’t have early childhood education, they start out behind.”
The benefits of early childhood education are evident as Delilah proudly recites the alphabet.
“Thank you United Way for making it possible for my daughter to be in preschool,” said Vanessa.