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Welcome Baby: Ranelle

One summer day in 2015, Ranelle was with her four children in the park, where she met Julie Johnson of United Way’s Welcome Baby program. Expecting a new baby to arrive soon, Ranelle was immediately interested in what the program had to offer.

Through Welcome Baby, Ranelle receives monthly home visits from Julie. “She helps a lot,” says Ranelle. She now understands more about how her baby and toddler should be learning and progressing, including important developmental milestones to watch for. “Julie has showed me a lot of things (to look for) as they grow up,” she says. Ranelle has learned games and activities to teach her children, received help with potty-training strategies, and learned how to deal with toddler tantrums. Though simple, these basic life skills are critical to a child’s development, and if not taught, can lead to problems later in life.

Welcome Baby is a program for parents with children age 3 and under, but Ranelle’s older children have benefited as well. Her oldest son is autistic, so Julie connected Ranelle with other community resources geared specifically toward his needs. She also receives backpacks and school supplies for her older children through Catholic Community Services.

Ranelle enthusiastically shares her appreciation of Julie’s monthly visits, and all of her kids seem to feel the same way. When Julie arrived recently, the kids immediately started smothering her with hugs and chattering about school, the dog, and their favorite toys. Not only do they love the fun visits, but these early years set the stage for lifetime success. The Welcome Baby program ensures that parents and children have the tools and resources they need to create stable, happy homes and communities far into the future.

Click here for more information about the Welcome Baby program.