By Kristie Thorson, Communications Specialist

St. Paul mother Stephanie Henderson knows her son Oliver has benefited from high-quality early care and education. 

“It was just so great for him,” said Henderson.  “He was more than ready for school.”

Oliver is wrapping up first-grade and is an extremely smart and happy child.

“He told me he wants to be an astronaut or a marine biologist,” Henderson added.

Watch a video version of Oliver’s Story here:

It hasn’t always been easy, but she credits Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) for helping make his success possible. CCAP provides financial support to help income-eligible families pay for child care. 

“Child care is really expensive and it affects a family’s quality,” said Henderson. “It’s a two-step program. You’re helping the child and you’re helping the family.”

At one point, Henderson was working four part-time jobs to support herself and her son. CCAP allowed her to put Oliver in a quality early child care program and it gave her time to update her skills and secure a stable, full-time job with daytime hours. 

“It would have definitely been a lot harder.  A lot more difficult,” said Henderson.