Alma Martinez has been interested in working with children for many years. As a parent she was involved with the Early Head Start program where her children attended preschool. Through her connections in the community she learned about Buncombe Partnership for Children and became involved with different activities there. She also worked as a substitute at Asheville City Preschool a couple of years ago but had to leave when she had her baby girl.
In November 2019 Alma heard from a staff member at Buncombe Partnership for Children that there was going to be a program that offered training and support to those interested in becoming early educators. Alma was excited about the opportunity and enrolled in the NC Works Workforce Development Program. She completed the 24 hours of pre-service training and expressed interest in becoming a substitute for Buncombe Partnership for children. However, before Alma could work on a regular basis, she needed to find childcare for one of her daughters.
Alma enrolled in the Spring term at AB Tech Community College the EDU 119 course and a couple months later her daughter was placed at a local preschool. Alma was ready to begin working, but the pandemic caused schools to close. Her school aged children were at home and she needed to assist with online schooling. By May 2020 Alma completed EDU 119 and soon after she received her Early Childhood Certificate.
The pandemic continued to bring challenges for Alma and her family. Alma wanted to work but couldn’t do so at a center. She connected with Buncombe Partnership and learned more about the steps needed to open her own childcare home. With this option she could take care of up to 5 children zero to five years old at her home. Alma is currently completing the requirements to open her childcare home and is hopeful that soon she will be able to care for children in her home environment.