In 2012, Sergio Morales enrolled his oldest daughter (now eight) in ABC USD Head Start because his wife was told about the program from his son’s elementary school. However, it was not until his youngest daughter (now five) started Head Start that he really began to understand all the positive effects the program would have on him and his family.
Morales knew that Head Start had a good curriculum because his eight-year-old daughter was more advanced in school than kids her age and always very helpful with her younger sister. But he had never explored the services Head Start offered him.
Now, he has learned how to be more involved in his children’s studies—both with his daughters and his teenage sons. “My sons were not involved in Head Start and I wish that I knew then how to be more involved in their schooling. Maybe they wouldn’t have struggled as much in high school if I were more involved earlier,” stated Morales.
Morales credits Head Start with helping him become more engaged in his children’s lives and starting to volunteer. “I was less in the moment with my children and I was more about work,” he said.
As an active father on the Policy Council, Morales suggests that other fathers in the program go to workshops offered, because sometimes it is more helpful to hear advice from someone else. Also, he strongly advocates volunteering and becoming involved at your child’s school. “The committees can be time-consuming, but it is worth it when you see the progress in your kids,” he explained.
Morales has taken multiple health and nutrition classes, which he plans to continue because he wants to promote these habits in his family. Additionally, he wants to maintain what he learned as a Head Start parent and be there for his daughters (both now in elementary school) and his sons (in high school and college). He stated, “Working isn’t the most important thing in my life; that isn’t the only thing that I need to do to be a good provider for my family. Providing time is also important.”