How do you decide where to send your child for preschool child care? With multiple choices available, you will want to take the time to find what best fits your needs and those of your family. We looked into three options that can help you decide: Way to Grow, KinderCare, and PICA Head Start. Each organization provides the community with many opportunities to meet family needs.
Way to Grow
Way to Grow (WTG) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization led by CEO Carolyn Smallwood for the last 13 years. What began in 1989 as a partnership with the Minneapolis mayor’s office, Honeywell and United Way is now a leader in early learning for children-centered programming serving over 67,000 parents and children.
Smallwood has a degree in marketing and finance from the University of St. Thomas; she has worked in corporate settings with US Bancorp and ADC Telecommunications. She said she feels blessed to be leading her second nonprofit, Way to Grow.
When she started with Way to Grow, it connected families with basic services such as food, clothing, housing and medical. But, said Smallwood, “We wanted to figure out a way to make a bigger impact in the community.”
In 2005, WTG took on a more holistic approach with the Great by Eight program, providing home visits centering on literacy, math and health curriculum, parent education, child development and school expectations.
Great by Eight is also helps families locate health and wellness education; provides educational supports for early childhood and elementary-age youth; offers teen parenting support services; and opportunities for parents to be a part of their child’s development.
When asked why she does what she does, Smallwood replied, “First, the reason why I am here is because I am very passionate about children obtaining a great education so [that] they can be successful in their lives. Secondly, I believe I was actually placed here by the Divine to be a part of this community to help and…