Project Spotlight

Educare Central Maine, a partner of Start Early

Meghan and her son, Connor, have seen their lives turned around, thanks to support from Red Nose Day. "Our entire family has been helped."

Meghan arrived in rural Maine with only what fit in her car.

A single mom whose 4-year-old son has severe ADHD, Meghan was struggling. She had no job, no apartment, and she couldn’t find Connor the support he needed.

Luckily, Meghan discovered Educare Central Maine, part of a national network of early childhood schools that Red Nose Day funds. Educare helps children and families in historically under-invested communities succeed by offering high-quality early childhood education for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, combined with vital family support services.

“Educare is not just a school. It's a wraparound family program. We've gotten a lot of support,” says Meghan, including resources to help Connor with his ADHD.

Children Thrive When Their Families Are Supported

Erica Palmer is the Education Manager at Educare Central Maine, and she says the kids and families they serve face many challenges.

Erica Palmer is the Education Manager at Educare Central Maine

“Nobody asks to live a life in poverty. We see families that are born into that, and they do the absolute best they can. But a lot of people don't know that there are resources available to them that can help, and without anybody to guide and support them, they can get lost.”

That’s where Educare Central Maine comes in. They know these challenges can make it difficult for young children to stay on track. So, in addition to using research-based practices to help children develop the skills they need for success in school and life, Educare Learning Network, which is partner to Start Early, also provides support for whole families.

The services Meghan and Connor received at Educare were life-changing. “Educare connected us to local resources, and it’s been amazing. It's been a complete turnaround. Connor has made huge strides in his life, but I've also made huge strides. Our entire family has been helped,” says Meghan.

Connor has an individualized education plan, a speech pathologist, and special education services. Meghan says he’s ready for kindergarten.

But Connor isn’t the only one whose life has been transformed.

Meghan’s Educare Family Services Coordinator helped her set and achieve her goals. Now a high school teacher, she’s working on her second master’s degree and recently signed a lease on a home. “They've given me the assistance along the way to get back on my feet,” Meghan explains.

Connor in his classroom at Educare Central Maine

“I feel like we're both in a good place. I get to see Connor growing and succeeding now. I see his happiness going to school, the friendships he's made here, and the teachers that support him. It makes my heart happy.”

Partners like Red Nose Day help Educare schools support families like Meghan and Connor across the country.

“Without them, there's no way that we could do all of the work that we do. Being a partner of Red Nose Day has helped us provide support to children at the ground level,” says Erica.