The Whole-Child Approach to Early Education

Mother Sets Example for Her Daughter by Reaching Dean’s List


Head Start Supports Mother’s Journey to “Do Better” for Her Family

Five years after her final home visit with Joyce, a young mother she had visited each week for four years, in pregnancy and after the birth of her daughter, Fran received a call. The two had grown close while the family was enrolled in home-based Head Start and kept in contact via intermittent text messages over the years, but a call was unusual.

After 30 minutes of reminiscing, and recalling how Joyce’s daughter used to eagerly await Fran’s visits and ask ”Where are the books?” each time she arrived, and a few of the challenges they faced and overcame together, Joyce remembered why she’d called and proudly told Fran just how much of an impact she had on the family.

Joyce reminded Fran about the goals they had set during their time working together. Joyce had always talked about being a role model for her daughter. When they first met, Joyce didn’t have a high school diploma and it weighed on her. She worried that she wasn’t setting a good example for her daughter. She set the goal of being a role model for her daughter by graduating from college.

The phone call was an update on that goal. Joyce told Fran how she was enrolled in school and was making the dean’s list. She also let her know that she had since been married to a man who shared her goal and was currently working on his GED.

As the call wrapped up, Joyce made it clear that Head Start and the support Fran provided was the reason she kept pushing to be better and do better for her child. She ended the call saying, “You’ll never be forgotten in our house.”


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Names and details have been changed to maintain anonymity.