Rebecca Cressey and her son Paxton
Each week in December, we introduce you to families whose lives have been impacted by Children’s Council of San Francisco. Today we meet Rebecca Cressey and her son Paxton. With your support, we can prepare children like Paxton to be Ready for School, and Ready for Life.
Before coming to Children’s Council, single mom Rebecca Cressey was taking care of her three-year-old son Paxton on her own, but she recognized that he was not experiencing enough social interaction with other kids his age. Born prematurely at 28 weeks, weighing only 2 lbs, 8 oz, Paxton has been monitored closely by the high-risk infant follow-up program through UCSF since birth, and later he was referred to the Multi-disciplinary Assessment Center (MDAC) at SF General. Rebecca says, “Paxton’s doctors determined he had an eye condition that makes it difficult for his eyes to focus properly. They also noticed some developmental concerns and thought a day care situation would really help him with his social growth.”
Rebecca also wanted to return to college, get back into the work force and make a better life for her family. So she turned to Children’s Council for help in finding the best child care situation for her son.
According to Children’s Council staff member Janet Cody, “Rebecca was well-informed and understood Paxton’s challenges, but she didn’t think she could afford the care that would prepare him for kindergarten.” After extensive research, Janet – who works with our Inclusion department to find appropriate learning environments for children with special needs – determined that Little Children’s Developmental Center might be a good option. Janet accompanied Rebecca and Paxton on a visit to the center, and Rebecca knew immediately it was the right fit.
Rebecca says, “As soon as I met the teachers and saw how Paxton interacted with them, I knew it lined up with my parenting style. They talk things out calmly, it’s a relaxed environment with a lot of structure, and they have healthy foods.”
Now Paxton is learning and making friends at Little Children’s. Rebecca says, “Before, when he was home with me, he really just played on his own. The greatest reward has been watching Paxton form bonds with other kids on his own terms and seeing that he is accepted. Kids need that interaction with other children to grow.”
Meanwhile Rebecca has transitioned smoothly into being a full-time student at City College. She is earning strong grades, and is well on her way to earning her B.S. in Earth Sciences. “School is going so well! Knowing that when I drop Paxton off each day, he is with great teachers, who are so compassionate and caring, and that he has structure and stability, allows me to focus on school.”
She says, “I don’t think this transition would have been as easy had I not come to Children’s Council. I didn’t even realize we qualified for subsidized child care. Children’s Council has made a monumental difference in our lives.”
Each year, Children’s Council serves over 135 parents like Rebecca by locating inclusive care and services for their children with special needs, and we help kids like Paxton get Ready for School, and Ready for Life.
But we need your help! We hope you will consider supporting our city’s families through a year-end gift to Children’s Council.