Elizabeth Celotto Child Care Center
Successes and Testimonials

Seventeen year-old Nina was failing math and because English was her second language, was also having difficulty in her other classes.  She was in danger of not graduating and had no plan for what she would do after high school if she did graduate.  SPFS’s Education Advisor got Nina enrolled in the correct classes and helped her access tutoring.  The program’s child care center provided daily care for Nina’s daughter so Nina could improve her school attendance.  SPFS checked in with Nina every school day and SPFS’s 85% Attendance Club provided monthly incentives to Nina to maintain good attendance.  Nina graduated from high school and enrolled in a Child Development Associate (CDA) program, with a scholarship from SPFS, which allows her to take college classes and provides training toward her CDA.  Nina is the first person in her family to graduate from high school, and all eight family members came to SPFS’s scholarship event to express their pride in her achievement.

Seventeen year-old Jose had custody of his son due to his son’s mother’s mental health issues.  Jose lived with his parents and had dropped out of high school.  SPFS helped Jose enroll in adult education and provided child care for Jose while he attended adult education.  Jose spoke frequently with SPFS staff about his feeling that his parents were not supporting his efforts to raise his son.  SPFS’s staff helped Jose explore both his childhood and his current relationship with his father, and helped Jose express his feelings about growing up without a father and improve his communication with his parents.  Jose’s mother and father responded to Jose by becoming more supportive of his education and parenting, and agreed to care for Jose’s son in the evenings so he could work.  Jose’s father started to spend more time with Jose and Jose’s son.  SPFS’ work with this family helped Jose and his dad increase their involvement in the life of their young child.

Sixteen year-old Shana gave birth to her daughter in her junior year and enrolled her in SPFS’ program.  Shana’s mother has unstable housing and employment and unpredictable behavior, and her father had started a new family with his new wife and children, so Shana moved in with her boyfriend and his parents.   Shana was a very bright young woman but had extremely low self esteem.  She did not recognize how smart she was, and did not believe she should apply to college.  SPFS’ staff gave Shana a tremendous amount of daily encouragement and positive reinforcement.  The Education Advisor convinced Shana that she could be accepted to college, took her to visit several colleges and helped her apply to several state and private colleges in Connecticut.  Shana was accepted at every school she applied to.  She received a scholarship to Quinnipiac College and is currently a freshman at Quinnipiac.

“I wouldn’t have graduated without this day care. You helped me achieve my goals.”
- Teen Mother and Career Magnet School Student

“I wouldn’t recommend any other program for teen fathers, especially beginners like me.”  
- Teen Father and Wilbur Cross High School Student

“I like the day care.  I like the way they treat the kids. If my kids weren’t there I wouldn’t be able to finish school. The Center staff always bug me to come to school.  When I need someone to talk to they always listen.”
- Teen Mother and Wilbur Cross High School Student 

“The Celotto Center is like family.  If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be graduating and going to college.”
- Teen Mother and Hillhouse High School Student

“The Center took such good care of my granddaughter!  She loved her teachers and learned so much.  And I didn’t worry about her while I was at work.”
- Parent of Teen Mother who graduated from Wilbur Cross High School

"I have repeatedly been impressed by the outcomes I have seen in the students I have referred to Student Parenting. They work with our most vulnerable, at-risk students and we are extremely lucky to have them on-site at our high school."
- Social Worker at Wilbur Cross High School

"If you want your kids to learn you should bring them here. The teachers are kind and we learned how to sing."
- Former toddler, child of 2005 graduate 


SPFS graduates are contributing to the New Haven community:

Tiana, who graduated from high school and SPFS’s Celotto Center in 1997 when her son was two years old, is now a nurse at a local hospital and recently purchased a house in New Haven.  

Jose, who had custody of his daughter and brought her to SPFS’s Celotto Center while he went to high school, graduated from high school in 2006 and now owns a small business in New Haven.  

Marta, who graduated from high school and SPFS’s Celotto Center in 1998, is now a supervising social worker at a local health care program and owns a house in New Haven.

Lashawn, who graduated in 2007, is working on her Master’s Degree in mathematics at a local university and plans to be a math teacher.  She and her husband own a house in New Haven.