b'A CHILDCARE PROGRAM DREAM, COMES TO LIFEPuente reached a major milestone in June 2019 when six toddlers graduated from its bilingual childcare co-op program into preschool, the biggest class ever. Puentes Early Childhood Education Team marked the event with a large celebration. The boys and girls donned with little caps and gowns received special certificates as did their parents. The celebration drew 57 adultsrelatives, teachers and volunteers.It felt like a huge thing for us. It told me just how much the community is involved with childrens education here, and how much they appreciate what happens in childrens lives, says Arlae Alston, Family Engagement Director for Puente.Puente founded the Sueos Unidos/United Dreams Cooperative in late 2016Investing in young children to fill a chronic gap in access to high- now builds sustainable quality childcare for local toddlers agesindividuals in the future.18 to 36 months. The co-op is free for low-income families, and uses a personalized child-development approach to prepare kids for preschool. When I got here, people told me families needed childcare. But no one really believed it would happen. It was more like, If you can do this, it would be a miracle, recalls Alston. Now the data shows that the children from the Sueos Unidos Cooperative are entering preschool highly prepared.6'