Remedios came to All Our Kin as an informal caregiver seven years ago. She, her husband José, and her young daughter shared a one-bedroom apartment, most of which was used for child care. She earned approximately $12,000 each year providing care, and her husband worked nights at a cleaning business. Through All Our Kin, first she and then her husband became licensed. They have now rented a second, larger apartment, and use both spaces to provide bilingual, high-quality child care for a total of twelve children. Their daughter, who attends college, assists them in the family business, which now earns enough to support the entire family.
Today, Remedios and José have a thriving clientele of teachers and other professionals, and a long wait list for their program. But they remain committed to serving families from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. They feel that by giving young children from different communities the chance to learn and grow together, they are working to bridge divisions between communities often segregated by race and/or socioeconomic status.
Remedios and José work tirelessly to make sure the children's days are filled with engaging, hands-on activities that teach them about science, numeracy, and literacy. Their mission is to ensure that all the children in their care have the emotional, physical, and intellectual foundations they need to succeed in school and in life.
This past fall, for example, Remedios and José created a series of lessons around healthy eating. The children learned about good nutrition, how food is made, and where food comes from. A child's special interest in corn sparked an entire week's worth of lessons around corn, including how corn grows and how corn is used in different cultures. The children looked at corn growing on a stalk, made their own corn tortillas from a homemade recipe, and read books like "La Tortilleria." They even went on a field trip to the supermarket and searched for foods made from corn.
Remedios and José are experts at making the most of the resources they have, and finding creative ways to explore the natural world. Recently, they made homemade paint from flowers the kids had picked in a nearby field and used it to paint boxes that were turned into a "city" the children built over the course of several weeks.
According to Remedios, she and José would have never been able to turn their love for children and early education into such a thriving child care program without the support of All Our Kin. In a letter, she writes:
As a provider, the change has been enormous from your coming to my house and putting a name to what I am doing. It gives me encouragement to be better every day. I assure you that I will never fail your trust. But over everything, I will not fail myself, nor my children.
Remedios and José's story summarizes, for us, what All Our Kin is all about: helping turn people's love of caring for children into a professional career and thriving business. We sit at the nexus of child care and economic development, job creation and workforce support. Because of All Our Kin, families like Remedios' succeed in the workforce; other parents are able to go to work feeling confident about the quality of their children's care; and children spend their days safe, loved, and learning.