Wayne Ysaguirre is the President and CEO of Nurtury, a longtime Families First partner. After launching the second Power of Parenting program at one of Nurtury’s early childhood education centers in the fall of 2017, Wayne offered his thoughts on the value of working with parents during the early years:
“One of the real benefits of working with parents of the youngest children is that in the first four years of a child’s life, almost 90% of their brain has developed. What this means is that their intellectual and emotional capabilities are actually being solidified during these years.
“There is also a lot of data that shows that the single most important person in maximizing the positive outcomes for their child in those first years is actually their parents.
“So it’s a no-brainer for us to work with Families First, because investing in parents when the children are that age will produce a return on investment for years to come.”
Wayne has seen firsthand the impact of Families First’s programs on the children at his childcare centers. He explains:
“We have children here at our programs who are suffering from significant stresses in their lives. These stresses impact their biology; they impact their behavior. We can reduce that. The engagement with Families First and investing in the parents’ ability to grow their parenting skills can be seen in the children’s behavior.
“Kids are less stressed, because their parents are much more capable of addressing stressors or helping their kids cope with stress that they might not be able to get rid of. These things will positively impact children’s behavior and can improve behavior over time.”
He has also seen the impact of the connections made between parents during Families First’s programs.
“I happened to be in a grocery store nearby and saw a few of the [mothers] who had participated in the Families First workshops in the store together. They said they were still connected and were going to have Thanksgiving dinner together.”
Families First looks forward to many more years of working closely with Nurtury to continue to benefit parents and children at their centers and in the surrounding communities.