Finding a Safe Space

When Melanie found out about Peninsula Family Service (PFS), she was living at the Life Moves Shelter in San Mateo working toward family stability. Her youngest daughter was just 7 months old and Melanie needed reliable and safe care for her daughter while she worked. After some searching, Melanie found that the PFS Early Learning Center (ELC) had an opening in the infant room. From the very first conversation with the PFS Family Engagement Coordinator, she knew that her daughter belonged at ELC.

The teachers invited Melanie into the classroom to observe the teachers and the class routines. Unlike other recent care situations, Melanie’s daughter felt safe and comfortable. Our teachers are caring and experienced and provide a much-needed structure and daily schedule. They even sent photos each day and told Melanie about how her daughter’s development progressed. Over the next few years, Melanie’s relationship with PFS and the teachers blossomed. When COVID-19 forced schools to close, Melanie was able to have her now preschool-age daughter enroll in PFS distance learning until the Center could open again.

As the Early Learning Center has reopened, Melanie’s daughter has returned to her preschool classroom. At PFS she is happy to be with friends and teachers, play outside, participate in STEM from the Start activities, listen to stories, eat nutritious meals together, and so much more.

There are still many hardships for the families; PFS offsets some of those hardships with diaper donations, gift cards for families, and distribution of food boxes.