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Region Stories

These stories illustrate how early childhood programs and services funded by First Things First make a difference for young children and families in communities across Arizona.

Home visitation program provides Yuma family extra layer of support

Maria Canchola was three months pregnant, had two young children at home and was looking for ways to strike a balance between being a good parent and working full-time as a single mom. 

The Yuma mom heard about the Healthy Families home visitation program and signed up. 

The First Things First Yuma Regional Partnership Council funds the home visitation program, which offers personalized in-home support for families with children ages birth to age 5 and expectant mothers. 

A trained home visitor works with the parent in their home and supports the parent in promoting their child’s healthy development and school readiness, along with building positive parenting knowledge and skills and providing the family with community resources that promote their overall well-being. 

During Canchola’s time in the home visitation program, her daughter Destiny was born prematurely at 6 months. Her son was diagnosed with autism and her daughter was having difficulty in school. Looking back Canchola said she was able to “hold it together because of the extra support” she received.

“I joined to be a better parent for my children and to give them a better life,” Canchola said. “I’m not sure I would be where I am today without that extra help.”

The extra layer of support made all the difference, she said. 

“Rosalyn is in the second grade and she has been more applied than ever before and has received awards from her school,” Canchola said. “Nathan is great at math and has benefited greatly from all the help, it is night and day when looking back at how he used to struggle in school. And Destiny is doing well and is very creative and incredibly outgoing.”

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