One of the ways that foster families can help young children in their care is by enrolling them, at no cost, in Maricopa County’s Head Start program. Foster children automatically qualify for the program regardless of family income.
Recently, Maricopa County Head Start Family Support Specialist Samantha Huffman had the opportunity to hang out with Grace, a foster parent. Her special needs foster child is enrolled in Maricopa County Head Start. “He needed lots of attention and patience,” said Samantha. “She was amazing, so loving and caring with him.”
Not only did Grace assist with her own foster child while he attended school, her love of children led her to become a volunteer at Maricopa County Head Start. Having seen Grace get so much joy from interacting with the students, Samantha suggested that Grace apply to work for the program.
Not only did Samantha and the rest of the Head Start team cheer her on, but they also gave her guidance on how to pursue the education and training she would need. With this backing and support, Grace studied and completed the training she needed to earn a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education and one that’s required by Head Start. The team also helped her prepare for her interview.
Once she completed her CDA certification, Grace was hired as a Teacher Assistant by Maricopa County’s Early Education Division – which runs the county’s Head Start program. With this new role, Grace is now able to make a difference in the lives of many more children and families.
Samantha said that she and the Head Start team are happy for Grace, who “is doing an amazing job.” They feel fortunate to work alongside their former volunteer. “She found a career in Head Start and enjoys coming to work every day,” shared Samantha. “She loves it!”
Grace’s story is just one example of how Maricopa County Human Services Early Education Division supports the whole development of both children and their parents. If you or someone you know are interested in working for the Maricopa County Head Start program, we have a variety of roles available. Learn more about the locations, benefits, and openings at www.Maricopa.gov/Teach.