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How the Early Childhood Alliance of Framingham has Impacted Our Lives

 I’d like to take a moment and share what an impact Jane Cohen DeHaven has had on our family, because I know we are not alone and that she has done so much not only for my family, but all the families whose lives she has touched in Framingham and beyond. 

My daughter has been participating in Jane's Early Childhood Alliance of Framingham programming since she was nine-months-old and we joined the Baby Talk group at the Framingham Public Library. I was immediately drawn in by Jane’s no-nonsense approach to parenting groups, and the way she leads by example, showing new and seasoned parents how to interact with our children in ways that help their little minds expand and grow. She held us as caregivers responsible for participating in the group alongside our children, while also building us up--filling our toolbox with nursery rhymes with movements, early literacy strategies, and developmentally-appropriate activities--and making us feel we are doing a great job, no matter how overwhelmed with parenting we felt. 

After those initial positive experiences, I enrolled Maya in the Play, Learn & Grow and Let’s Go to Kindergarten programs, just after her first birthday. We loved the integrated read alouds, hands-on activities, and the opportunity to get to know other families with kids at similar developmental stages. I was so disappointed when I had to return to work full time and we could no longer attend. 

But the pandemic offered us another chance, as I began working from home and all of Jane’s early childhood programming went remote. This allowed us to stay engaged and stay safe, and Jane and her staff made sure that remote programming was still filled with high-quality interactions. 

Last night I had a moment during our PJ Family Story Time program. As I watched my now 4.5-year-old daughter raising her hand, answering questions, and interacting with her playgroup friends and Ms. Jane, I realized that Maya has been doing the Let’s Go to Kindergarten programs since she was 13-months-old, and next year she will actually be going to kindergarten. Because of the pandemic, I chose not to enroll her in preschool, so all of her preparation for school has been through Jane’s early childhood programming. Jane has been my daughter's preschool teacher. At first I was nervous about sending my daughter to kindergarten without prek, but under the tutelage of Ms. Jane, I know my daughter is going to do well and is absolutely ready for kindergarten.

It has been such a journey over the past five years, and I want to reiterate my gratitude for this programming and for Jane Cohen DeHaven. The importance of the first five years of a child’s life cannot be overstated, and I know the time we have spent in this early childhood programming will have a lasting impact on our children’s lives. 

Mae Waugh Barrios

Language Development Coach, Framingham Public Schools

& mom to three emerging bilinguals

Me gustaría tomarme un momento y compartir el impacto que ha tenido Jane Cohen DeHaven en nuestra familia, porque sé que no estamos solos y que ella ha hecho mucho por mi familia, sino por todas las otras vidas que ha tenido contacto  en Framingham y más allá.

Mi hija empezó la programación de Jane y Early Childhood Alliance of Framingham cuando tenía nueve meses y nos unimos al grupo Baby Talk en la Biblioteca Pública de Framingham. Inmediatamente estaba impresionada por el programa de los grupos de padres y la forma en que ella lideró el grupo con el ejemplo, mostrando a los padres nuevos cómo interactuar con nuestros hijos de manera que ayude a sus pequeñas mentes a expandirse y crecer. Como cuidadores, nos hizo responsables de participar en el grupo junto con nuestros niños, al mismo tiempo que nos fortalecía, enseñándonos rimas infantiles con movimientos, estrategias de alfabetización y actividades apropiadas para el desarrollo, y haciéndonos sentir que estamos haciendo un buen trabajo, incluso cuando sentimos que estábamos fallando.

Después de esas experiencias iniciales positivas, inscribí a Maya en los programas Play, Learn & Grow y Let’s Go to Kindergarten, un mes después de su primer cumpleaños. Nos encantaron las lecturas en voz alta integradas, las actividades prácticas y la oportunidad de conocer a otras familias con niños de las mismas edades. Yo estaba tan triste cuando tuve que volver a trabajar y ya no pudimos asistir más. 

Pero la pandemia nos ofreció otra oportunidad, ya que comencé a trabajar en casa y toda la programación de Jane se convertió remota. Esto nos permitió mantenernos en casa pero conectados. Jane y maestras se aseguraron que la programación todavía estuviera llena de interacciones de buena calidad, aunque estuvimos remotos.

Anoche tuve en  un momento  durante de nuestro programa PJ Family Story Time. Mientras observaba a mi hija, que ahora tiene 4.5 años, levantar la mano, responder preguntas e interactuar con sus amigos del grupo y la Sra. Jane, me di cuenta de que Maya ha estado participando en los programas Let's Go to Kindergarten desde que tenía 13 meses y el año que viene irá al Kindergarten. Por la pandemia, opté por no inscribirle en una clase preescolar. Por eso, toda su preparación para la escuela es por la mano de Sra. Jane. Jane ha sido la maestra de preescolar de mi hija. Al principio estaba nerviosa por registrar a mi hija en el Kindergarten sin prek, pero bajo la tutela de la Sra. Jane, sé que a mi hija le irá bien y está absolutamente lista para el Kinder.

Los últimos cinco años han sido un gran viaje, y quiero compartir mi gratitud por este programa y por Jane Cohen DeHaven. No se puede exagerar la importancia de los primeros cinco años de la vida de un niño, y sé que el tiempo que hemos pasado en este programa tendrá un impacto importante en la vida de nuestros hijos.

Mae Waugh Barrios

Entrenador de Desarrollo del Lenguaje, Escuelas Públicas de Framingham

y mamá de tres bilingües emergentes

Baby Talk

November 2017

Play, Learn & Grow 

May 2018

Celebration of the Week of the Young Child, 2021

Virtual Play, Learn & Grow 

April 2021

Jane Cohen DeHaven

ECAF Family End of the Year Meet and Greet

May 2021


  1. The pictures are prices and the blog is heartfelt. What a tribute! Thank yourself for being there for your children in every way possible. You are a role model to your children and you are your children's 1st and most important teacher and advocate. A true leader in your own right. Thank you for sharing your family with the ECAF team!


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