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Single mom finds community and support as Head Start teacher

Canadochly Head Start teacher Aimee Dougherty turned to her students when life took a rough road.

When Aimee Dougherty began working as a Head Start teacher 15 years ago, her life was taking a tough turn. Her son was born with a cleft palate and lip. The condition required him to have multiple surgeries, coupled with recovery time.

Community Progress Council (CPC), which oversees the Head Start early childhood education program for low-income families in York County, allowed Aimee the flexibility to take time off for her son’s appointments and to see him through the process of healing.

Shortly after that, Aimee went through a divorce. Suddenly, she was juggling even more on her own as a single mom, trying to build a future for her and her son.


More than just a job

Aimee found a supportive community through her job at Community Progress Council.

As a Head Start teacher at Canadochly Elementary School in Lower Windsor Township, Aimee works in the community she grew up in. Her son was in the same school district where she was teaching. She enjoyed summers off and health and retirement benefits that weren’t available at most early childhood education jobs.

“It helped me be a single mom,” she says.

Because of her experiences, Aimee always strives to be authentic with her students and families. She’s not afraid to share the difficult stories, knowing that her students and families will benefit from hearing about real-life hardships.

“I’ve had struggles along the way,” she says, “and sharing them with the families and the kids, I honestly think that in itself has kept me doing what I’m doing. It’s helping families.”


Where I’m supposed to be

While Aimee has experienced many benefits working for CPC, she has seen even more growth in the lives of her students and families.

Parents have been able to get jobs and buy houses because of the stability that the early childhood education program has provided for their kids.

When people ask her why she’s still at CPC after all these years, she always mentions the support she’s received.

“And I still like it,” she says. “It still feels like I’m where I’m supposed to be.” 

A career awaits

Join Aimee and many others at Community Progress Council as a Head Start teacher. A competitive salary, full benefits and generous PTO, and growth opportunities are available. Apply today.

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