Starr Gul and her daughter Melina


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Starr Gul was a working single mom who needed quality child care for her two-year-old daughter Melina. Starr says, “Melina’s day care situation wasn’t reliable, and even though she was young, she wanted to learn more. She wasn’t getting the kind of attention she needed.”

Starr researched child care options and came to realize that the solution that would best meet Melina’s needs was Big City Montessori School, near her home in the Bayview. She says, “I knew that it was a wonderful environment where children learn through play. But I couldn’t afford it. I was frustrated and afraid I wasn’t going to be able to work full time.”

Fortunately Starr turned to Children’s Council for help. We connected her to financial assistance that allowed Starr to keep working and for Melina to attend Big City Montessori. Melina thrived at Big City, and has continued to excel throughout school. Starr says, “Without Children’s Council, I wouldn’t have received child care subsidies. Children’s Council saved my life, it was a dream come true.

Now 16, Melina is an honor roll student at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory High School and is on track to attend college. She is active in the school’s American Sign Language program and in Hope Academy, an after school program that gives motivated students opportunities to prepare for college. Starr says, “That early education experience gave Melina a solid foundation for school. She got motivated, it boosted her confidence and self-esteem, and that is still with her today.”

The research is clear: children like Melina who receive quality early care and education are 25% more likely to do well in school, graduate from high school, gain college admission and get higher-paying jobs.

Unfortunately, child care can range from $15,000-20,000 per year, a cost that too many parents in our city simply can’t afford. At Children’s Council, we are committed to helping families find and pay for quality child care for thousands of underserved San Francisco families each year.

But we need your help! Won’t you consider a year-end gift to support our city’s children?

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