Name: Cynthia Barboza

Agency: Children’s Institute, Inc.

Center/Site: Imperial Courts

How did you learn about Early Head Start?

I learned about Early Head Start (EHS) by looking around the neighborhood for a program that offered “early education” instead of “day care” because I did not want to send my daughter where she would just be looked at! I wanted to have a facility where she could grow and learn.

Why did you choose Head Start?

After EHS, I chose to have my daughter stay in the Head Start program as a continuation in her progression of developmental skills. Head start programs offer different resources where your child can progress in the areas they need help. It can range from diagnosing a disability, by taking an assessment or following up with the primary physician, which sometimes was a struggle. I loved how if the child is on point where they should be, and then goals were created which I loved.

How has your agency supported you with your HS children’s learning?

The agency has helped my family in numerous ways; the first was accepting my children and providing services in areas my children needed help on—specifically in speech therapy for my son. They helped my children in many, different ways, because I had both of my children attend the EHS/HS programs and my daughter, the last child, just graduated last school year.

How has your agency supported you with your personal goals?

Not only did the agency support my family with food, they also provided supplies to allow my children to do their work—from colors to various supplies (like charts, pretzels, faucets, stars and balloons) which helped my children express their emotions in guided and positive way. The four words are emotional relievers where students learn to deal with certain emotions. For me, I was able to brush up on my resume and have mock interviews. I also attended job fairs and received the motivation to set goals for myself as well. Throughout the COVID pandemic, CII staff were there not only our social workers but also people to vent to and just talk about the day.

What advice would you give to another parent looking for a school for their infant/toddler?

You have to try the CII EHS/HS program—you will not regret it! It’s challenging to enroll with a lot of paper work, but if you have any problems or situations where you don’t understand or your questions aren’t answered, then CII will do their best to answer them or guide you personally through the steps. CII is not just a daycare; it is an Early Education program for infants and toddlers.