"Because of Gma Village, I can leave my daughter with a grandmother like Miss Parker, who has the wisdom that only comes with life experience and raising children of one’s own. I go to work worry-free knowing that my daughter is safe and in good hands. I am more focused as a programmer and even open to new projects knowing that dependable and quality child care is available through Gma Village."
Greetings everyone my name is Laura Cedillo. I am a program coordinator for the non-profit: Native American Health Center and on my own time I partner with other community organizers regarding Native issues. But first and foremost, I am a mother to my 2 year old Daughter: Likuaht (meaning lightning in the Pame language). I am the consistent provider in a family of 3. My partner works around issues of sacred sites often pulling him up and down California or out of state and my immediate family lives in Compton. I am without a vehicle so I travel 2 hours to and from work leaving when my daughter is asleep and often returning when the sun goes down. I do HIV work and programming on and off site and in the past, due to lack of affordable childcare and few people willing to care for a 1 or 2 year old, I have been reprimanded at work for hiding my daughter in my cubicle or groups that I facilitate. And on other days, to avoid the stress of searching for care, I simply stayed home.
Then, it all changed with one flyer. I am grateful to have been introduced to Gma Village and for them organizing a group of grandmothers with experience that one can trust to care for one’s child and for also making it affordable to the working class. I am especially grateful to Gma Parker for accepting my spontaneous calls when I worked Folsom St. Fair on a Sunday, or Gay Pride on a Saturday or even the time I panicked when my daughter ate a chunk of pink flowers as though they were chicken and instead of calling the doctor, I called Miss Parker and she calmly said, “kids do that sometimes. Don’t worry, those aren’t poisonous.” Or the time, I had to work later and Miss Parker waited for me at the BART and gave me and my daughter a ride home. Thank you Miss Parker for singing to my daughter, talking to her, teaching her numbers, modeling manners, being goofy and eccentric with her, taking her to the park, the zoo or walks to get apple juice. I have been fortunate to have met you.
Because of Gma Village, I can leave my daughter with a grandmother like Miss Parker, who has the wisdom that only comes with life experience and raising children of one’s own. I go to work worry-free knowing that my daughter is safe and in good hands. I am more focused as a programmer and even open to new projects knowing that dependable and quality childcare is available through Gma Village.
"I am able to work thanks to Gma Village. I have been able to take on more shifts and my income has tripled."
My name Is LaTeena and I have two children, ages 11 months and 2.5 years. When I signed up to Gma Village I was just coming off from maternity leave and had just left the father of my kids, who used to care for them while I was at work. I was worried I was going to lose my job because I couldn’t take on many work shifts due to lack of child care. I was also looking for housing.
I tried headstart but it was only in the day and I work late shifts and weekends so that didn’t work. I went to my local Resource & Referral agency wanting to get immediate child care assistance but I was not eligible. It was there that I saw the Gma Village orange flyer and called. They were so nice and helpful, the spirit of the program was great. It was my first time leaving my kids somewhere so this was important. I was initially nervous to work with Gma Village grandmas because I did not know what to expect but I didn’t have any other options so I decided to try it out. I am glad I did.
I am able to work thanks to Gma Village. I have been able to take on more shifts and my income has tripled. I have worked with two Gmas. In both cases I interviewed them for about an hour before leaving the kids. Both had very nice personalities, easy to talk to and both were able to take feedback. Both were very knowledgable about the service.
Carolyn was the first Gma I worked with. She is a very sweet and nice lady. She was easy to talk to, open to feedback and walked me through everything since this was my first time doing this. She was very good with kids. She reads to them, she does potty training, changing, feeding. She also has her grandkids so they go out to the park, eat out. I like that she takes my kids out and that they get to socialize with her grandkids. We worked for a while but she wasn’t always able to accommodate my crazy schedules so I decided to get some additional support from another Gma and started working with Michelle. She has been flexible, very helpful and very sweet with the kids. She is hands on with education which really helps my daughter because she hasn’t been in school yet. She is great, she has her home set up like a mini little day school. They have toys and arts and crafts. She cooks healthy meals for them. We still work with Carolyn too sometimes. It’s a great mix to work with both grandmas. Different experiences, good in different ways. With Gma Village I have a network of support. I’m doing well. I have a supportive network, that way I am not stuck in ground zero with no help.
"For the first time, since the start of my search for care, I actually felt like I had options, as far as the level of care my son would receive."
My name is Asmeret Abreha, and I am a single mother of two boys ages 3 and 12 yrs. First, I want to give you all a little background about how I started with "GMA Village". Last summer, my baby boy Jace aged out of his current Early HeadStart Program, and I found myself searching and scrambling to find care for my son, immediately. I was attending school at the time, and I also needed to go to work to support my family. So I called around to see if I could get some additional resource information, and I was then informed of a program called "GMA Village" which was a new program to me at the time. After contacting them, I was able to quickly meet with Catalina, the director, then learn more about the program, how the program works, and receive all the information and support that I needed to become apart of the "Village". After contacting one of the available grandmothers, Gma Carolyn, we scheduled a time to meet. My son and I went to her home, and quickly found out how much of a delight she was. This grandma was a humble, open-minded, caring, and a really wonderful person. She provided me with the same comfort that I felt when I first met with Catalina.
When you are looking for childcare, as parents, you don't really know what to expect, so you just hope for the best. For the first time, since the start of my search for care, I actually felt like I had options, as far as the level of care my son would receive. After a conversation and meeting with Ms. Carolyn, we decided on care and went from there. In the start of the Summer 2016, my baby boy and I met her at her front door. She had a smile on her face, that morning, and every morning thereafter whenever she greeted us. Keeping in mind, this was all before eight o'clock in the morning, and she always quickly tended to my baby's needs when we entered her home. This incredible lady was professional, attentive, joyful, and always made "US", me and my son, feel more than comfortable. She was one way with us, from the beginning. She didn't change her ways or who she was, which was a trait that quickly earned my trust. Today I want to show my love, and my appreciation, and honor "Ms. Carolyn", as an incredible treasure to this community. My son and I are really fortunate to have met her and also to have become apart of the "GMA Village". I can't thank you enough Ms. Carolyn. Please know that I truly appreciate you and all you've done.
"This service is a literal life saver...I'm so thankful for all that Gma Village has provided including a new positive support system and a community with fun events and meet up time. I'm even planning on going back to school this year because I no longer feel it's out of my reach because of my girls...I feel like I won the jackpot and will forever be grateful."
This service is a literal life saver. My name is Terez. I have had a tough time finding quality and affordable care for my daughters. I have no family in the bay area and work full time. As a single mom I can barely afford essentials, though I make a steady income it is a struggle and I would resort to leaving work early, having the girls with sketchy unreliable providers or at home alone out of desperation. I'm so thankful for all that Gma Village has provided including a new positive support system and community with fun events and meet up time. I'm even planning on going back to school this year because I no longer feel it's out of my reach because of my girls. Gma Shirley and Vicki are like family to us now. Zuri and Sana actually want to go to Ms Shirley house, this had never happened with a care provider before. She is a joy to be around, loving and affectionate and generous, considerate and sincere. She is a woman of God and has a strong spiritual foundation which has comforted me. She is reliable and punctual which is invaluable! I can't count how many times others have been late or forgot and I got a call at work from the school! Gma Shirley has even helped me last minute when I needed emergency care. I never worry about my babies or interrogate them after to make sure nothing inappropriate took place, like I have with others in the past. Gma Shirley has a clean immaculate home with no inside traffic, speaks with kindness and respect. She and Ms Vicki treat the girls like their own and even feed me on occasion! I feel like I won the jackpot and will forever be grateful.
"With the support of Gma Village I was able to get a piece of my sanity back, work out, and get some rest while out on leave. Once back at work I didn’t need Gma Zada as much but we realized there was a mutual benefit for her and my kids so we continued to work together and she has even cared for them overnight. I feel like I now have the Grandma my kids always deserved but didn’t have, the support I always needed but couldn’t find, a new relationship that has forever changed my life."
My name is Andria. I am a single mother of two (ages 2.5 and 4 months) with unreliable, inconsistent support. I work nights as a licensed clinical social worker. I learned about Gma Village when I was about 6 months pregnant. Originally I found interest in the program as a way to have individualized, personal, at home care for my oldest son while I went to work at night. Right away I viewed profiles and made phone calls, but did notfind exactly what I was looking for schedule availability wise so I gave up. As It got closer to my due date with my second child I decided to try again. I contacted the Gmas with a new need, a need for a sitter a few hrs a day so I could have a break and do some self care like work out. Within 5 weeks of having my baby, and still being on maternity leave, I started taking my kids to Gma Zada. The first time we met her my toddler walked right in as if he was home. He connected with her and she with him. I felt instant comfort with Gma Zada watching my toddler and my newborn. She follows all my care wishes and communicates with me very well to make sure we were always in the same page. With the support of Gma Village I was able to get a piece of my sanity back, work out, and get some rest while out on leave. Once back at work I didn’t need Gma Zada as much but we realized there was a mutual benefit for her and my kids so we continued to work together and she has even cared for them overnight. I feel like I now have the Grandma my kids always deserved but didn’t have, the support I always needed but couldn’t find, a new relationship that has forever changed my life. The idea of Gma Village is innovative and not only aids parents but provides a mutual benefit to the GMAs as well. I am so thankful for the service. People who know me hear me brag about my Gma and how great she is, and how she came into me and my kids lives. I would recommended this program to other parents.