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Baby's Feet

Annual Report 2023

BAMS + Early Head Start

Baby and Mommy Support

Baby and Mommy Support

Step Forward’s Baby and Mommy Support (BAMS) offers hope and guidance for expectant mothers embarking on the beautiful journey of motherhood. Through BAMS, mothers find a haven of support where they can learn, grow, and prepare for the arrival of their little one.

BAMS is more than just a program; it’s a lifeline for mothers-to-be. Through a carefully crafted curriculum, expectant mothers gain the essential knowledge and skills to navigate the challenges of pregnancy and early motherhood. From coping mechanisms for stress to the intricacies of breastfeeding and the complexities of postpartum depression, BAMS equips women with the tools they need to face the joys and tribulations of motherhood with confidence.

Step Forward’s dedicated Family Development Specialists provide invaluable one-on-one consultations, offering personalized guidance on nutrition, health insurance navigation, hospital selection, and finding the right doctor.

Through BAMS, Step Forward is not just providing a service; it’s creating a community of empowered mothers ready to embrace motherhood with an open heart and informed mind.

A mother holds her daughter

In 2023,

157

157

expectant mothers received life skills coaching from Step Forward's Family Development Specialists 

Impact Highlight

Impact Highlight

Veda's story...

As she awaited the arrival of her fourth child, a little girl due on Christmas, Veda Bradley found herself in a challenging situation: she had been homeless for nearly seven months. It was a difficult time, but when one of the employees at a nearby hospital referred Veda to Step Forward’s BAMS program, that’s where her story took a turn for the better.

“Delores, my case worker, was very supportive,” Veda recalled. “She was very vocal. We would have conversations. She was a great listener.”

Despite Veda’s tendency to keep to herself, the warm environment at BAMS encouraged her to open up and engage with other participants. It was a refreshing change, and Veda said that she felt supported in ways that she hadn’t before.

As a grandmother and a parent of older children, ages 21, 18, and 10, Veda was especially looking forward to seeing the interaction between her oldest and youngest children.

“Pregnancy has been a long, exhausting ride,” she said. “I probably would have lost it had it not been for the other people to engage with and socialize with in the BAMS program.”

Early Head Start

Early Head Start

Step Forward’s Early Head Start program is the first gentle step into a world of learning and growth for the youngest members of our community. From the moment a baby is born, Step Forward is there ready to offer a nurturing hand and a wealth of opportunities for early childhood education.

Designed to cater to the needs of infants as young as six weeks old, Early Head Start centers are vibrant hubs of activity and discovery. Each center boasts colorful and inviting classrooms where little ones can explore, learn, and thrive under the guidance of caring and compassionate educators.

In Step Forward’s safe and stimulating environment, each child is encouraged to play and learn with age-appropriate toys, equipment, and learning materials carefully selected to stimulate their senses and foster their development. From the soft textures of tactile toys to the engaging sights and sounds of educational playthings, each child’s journey of discovery is nurtured with thoughtful care.

Step Forward understands the challenges that come with parenting, which is why at each Early Head Start location, the agency provides essential items like diapers and formula, easing the financial burden on parents and ensuring that every child’s needs are met.

Early Head Start is accessible to all, as Step Forward offers this invaluable service free of charge to income eligible families.

A teacher and a baby smile

At the end of the 2023 school year, an average of

85%

85%

of Early Head Start students met or exceeded the expected skill level when demonstrating fine motor strength and coordination

At the end of the 2023 school year, an average of

91%

91%

of Early Head Start students met or exceeded the expected skill level when using number concepts and operations

A young child holds up a finger to show "one"

Impact Highlight

Impact Highlight

Ashley's story...

 

Ashley Mosby's Head Start story began in 2015 when she was looking for a high-quality preschool program. Since then, she has enrolled three additional children into the program. 

In 2023, Ashley's son finished up Step Forward's Early Head Start, intended for babies and young children up to three years old, and prepared to transition to the agency's Head Start program, designed for older children ages three to five. 

"He is thriving," she said. "The program helped me identify his expressive speech delay and helped me with a referral to get him speech services on-site. Since starting those services, he is speaking more every day. I cannot say enough about the program and what it has done for my children's education. I am honored to be able to say that Head Start truly gave my boys the head start that they needed."

113
children
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