Educare teaches mother new ways to support son’s development

Maryann Carter appreciates the resources and advice that Educare Milwaukee has provided her as a parent. “It’s taught me a lot,” Carter said. “If I need advice for Lamarion and ask them, they give it to me. Then when I use that advice, it works.”

Lamarion, her 1-year-old son, enrolled in an infant and toddler classroom at Educare in June 2015. His Educare teachers have helped him learn how to calm himself when he is upset and gave Carter advice to help him learn to self-soothe.

“He used to cry all the time, so I would just hold him all of the time,” Carter said. “They broke him out of that, and I appreciate that.” Carter also likes how Lamarion’s teachers approach challenging behaviors. “Other places will put the kids in time out, but here they teach them to use gentle touches [instead of hitting], and if they need to use their hands, they give them an outlet,” such as a hands-on activity, Carter said.

She has been able to see the Educare teachers’ approach in action because in addition to staying in close touch with Lamarion’s teachers, she has been volunteering in his classroom. As a parent volunteer, Carter sees first hand what Lamarion and the other children are learning at Educare. She credits this experience with teaching her more ways to work with her son—and for helping her decide to take child-care classes. Family support specialists at Educare have helped Carter decide what classes she needs to take to pursue a career in child care and have aided in her job search.

“They are very supportive, especially when you are trying to find a job—they even help you,” Carter said, adding that there was job information at a recent parent-teacher conference and she “grabbed every sheet of paper they had on the table.”

Carter plans to keep volunteering at Educare Milwaukee while she pursues child-care classes and will continue to work with Lamarion to help support his learning in and outside the classroom.

“We’re teaching him to use his words. He doesn’t know a lot yet, but he’s trying,” Carter said. “We read, we play with paint, we go to the park and we do activities like listen to music.”