Strolling Thunder Advocate Story: Essential Worker & Parent Soani Delgado

Finding Support through the Family Child Care System

While many Rhode Islanders were being asked to stay home to “flatten the curve” of rising COVID-19 infections, essential workers like Providence resident Soani Delgado scrambled to piece together child care so they could continue going to work. Soani and her husband work in neighborhood bodegas, which many people rely on for necessities such as groceries, medicine, and home essentials.

Soani Delgado helping a customer at a neighborhood bodega.

Soani and her husband figured out a way to temporarily alternate their schedules and piece together care within her family while child care programs were closed during the early months of the pandemic, but Soani says this struggle brought them back to what they’d faced a few years earlier in accessing affordable, high-quality care.

“After my son was born, we couldn’t afford high-quality child care, even with both of us working. So we decided that the best decision financially for our family was for me to stay home with our son,” says Soani. “Two years later, we were able to utilize the state’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), which allowed us to find a high-quality program that fit our needs so I could return to work.”

When her oldest was two, she was relieved to find Nuris Ynoa Family Child Care, a high-quality, licensed home child care program that accepts CCAP. “We’ve been with Nuris for a few years now, and I feel like I’m leaving my kids with family,” says Soani. “At Nuris’s home, my kids get the best of both worlds. They’re in a warm, caring environment, and they get the structure, routine, and early learning skills to prepare them for success in kindergarten.”

Soani and her husband are grateful that they’ve been able to find a licensed, high-quality child care provider, and that they’re able to access assistance so they can both work to support their family. They encourage Rhode Island lawmakers to continue the increased CCAP rates so that high-quality providers like Nuris can continue to serve families with young children across Rhode Island.

“The challenges this past year reinforced how much we rely on Nuris. She’s a key part of our support system,” says Soani. “She accommodates our crazy work schedules, and we go to work confident that our kids are safe and having fun in a high-quality early childhood education setting.”