Providing high-quality early child care and education to the families of Marin for over 30 years, our Children and Family Services team creates a partnership with parents and children to help the entire family across generations to thrive.
Children’s cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and language development needs are a priority as we help to support the whole child, foster a passion for learning, and give working parents vital support. With a comprehensive set of services, parents can get the resources they need.
Annette Schies, a member of our staff team today, is one such parent, a single mom who benefited from our Home Base option in the early ‘90s when her children were young.
Home Base is one gem in the Children and Family Services department at our agency. It provides services to parents in their own home to support their child’s growth and development. Home Visitors on our team work together with parents to promote secure parent-child relationships and help parents provide high-quality early learning experiences for their child. They also connect parents to resources that meet families’ needs and interests while developing parent-driven goals. These can range from supporting their child’s development to personal or whole family goals for increased well-being.
In 1993, Annette’s youngest daughter, Mackenzie (pictured here, second to left), was three and enrolled in the Home Base program. Annette was not able to afford to send her to pre-school, so this was an opportunity for Mackenzie to socialize with other children, and for Annette to be able to connect with other parents.
“Being a stay at home mother can be very isolating,” says Annette. The connections that she made through this experience were helpful to both her and her daughter. “With the Home Visitor being part of my life, I was exposed to new ideas and experiences that helped to expand what I knew from my own childhood,” she explains. “I participated in a series of nutrition trainings, attended parent meetings and made connections with parents, who have become life-long friends.”
When an opening became available at a center, Mackenzie, transferred to a Head Start classroom. This allowed Annette to go back to school to obtain her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She volunteered in Mackenzie’s classroom and found support from all the teachers and the family advocate. “I knew that when I graduated, I wanted to work for the Head Start program, because it is so different from any other child development program that I had seen.”
Annette was hired as a Site Assistant/Van Driver and eventually became an Infant/Toddler Combo Teacher with Community Action Marin. Today, she is a Family Services Supervisor at the agency and is grateful for the opportunities she received through Children and Family Services. As Annette says, “they not only cared for and taught my child, but they connected me to resources, and helped me set and reach my goals.”
And Annette’s daughter, Mackenzie? She graduated as a nurse this year and just got her first nursing job!