Do you run a childcare or home visiting program in Delaware? Stand By Me offers customized financial coaching for childcare center employees and parents.

$tand By Me has developed partnerships with Head Start Centers and many private and nonprofit childcare centers throughout Delaware to provide personal financial coaching to the staff (as an employee benefit) and to the families served by the centers.

Four coaches, two of whom are bilingual in Spanish and one bilingual in Creole, work across the state with childcare centers. The State Office of Early Learning and the Office of Childcare Licensing has worked with $tand By Me to qualify program services within Delaware’s early childcare quality initiative, STARS, as either an employee benefit or a community service. This way, centers not only benefit by making these services available to their staff and families, but they also add value towards their quality rating.

In addition to the financial coaching support provided to teachers and parents, $tand By Me offers a special Sesame Street workshop to parents and children to begin financial literacy at the tender age of three.

A program funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation

This program is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of its two-generation strategy that aims to empower parents with opportunities to improve their family finances and train for a new or better job, and at the same time provide their children with high-quality pre-school services.

Services offered free of charge to all family childcare providers, childcare centers & Head Start programs include:

Financial coaching: Personal and group financial coaching sessions to help child care workers and parents manage their budgets.

Mind Over Money workshops: Four one-hour workshops for child care administrators recognized for annual hours by the Office of Child Care Licensing.

Sesame Street workshops:  Train the trainer program for childcare educators or a workshop activity for parents and children together.  This workshop introduces young children to the basic money concepts of spending, saving, and sharing.

Meet Our Coaches 

Meraris Aguilar is a $tand By Me® Child Care Financial Coach at the Latin American Community Center. Her background includes: intensive case management, prevention  promoter, community advocacy, community engagement, private banking and customer  service. She has five years of experience working in the human services field and four  years of experience in private banking. Fluent in both English and Spanish, her passion  is to help customers reach their personal and financial goals. With her skills,  enthusiasm, and commitment, she looks forward to serving and giving back to  communities in New Castle County.
Lori Hurst-Farrell works as a Financial Coach in Kent and Sussex counties with The Delaware Early Childhood Center, First Start Delaware Early Head Start Child Care Partnership, Parents as Teachers, and The New Directions Early Head Start Program. Lori has a wide variety of experiences and knowledge including, working for 20+ years in the education field with special needs and behaviorally challenged students as well as 3-5 year olds in a Montessori program. Her background includes enrichment programs, educating parents in the “Boys and Girls Model,” and developing new educational materials. In addition, she was also a regional supervisor in the child care industry. Lori’s business acumen includes working 10 years in the retail and business world; owning an independent business; knowledge of marketing and advertising to increase income; and knowledge of debt to income.  She was the keynote speaker at the Military SEEDS conference speaking on “Exposure to Non-traditional Income Streams.” Lori is AMI certified as an International Montessori Teacher, has an A.S. in Business and Retail Management, an A.S. in Early Childhood Education as well as being a State Certified Sports Coach. Lori believes that knowledge is power and believes that individuals can become financially empowered by setting goals toward stability.
LaTysse McKinzie-Mack is a $tand By Me Financial Coach for the Child Care initiative with New Castle County Head Start, Inc.  She was the previous NCCHS Policy Council Vice Chairwoman for the 2015-2016 school year.  She was an active member of the NCCHS Community Awareness and Advocacy Committee and classroom volunteer.  LaTysse has a Master’s Degree in Administration of Justice and a dual Bachelor’s in Political Science and Spanish. Her background extends from business incorporation, youth education, and criminal justice.  She has over 5 years of experience in the Human Services field as a case manager and child advocate; focusing on parent/community engagement, and educating families about available resources.
Shay Frisby has a combined background of business, educational and legal experience. In addition to providing general support and coaching services to customers, she also oversees the $tand By Me® Child Care initiative. Her responsibilities extend to recruiting and establishing partnerships and coaching the staff, families and directors of local child care facilities throughout New Castle County. Her prior professional experience includes owning a family child care business, and developing the business plan and cash flow projection for center programs. She also worked as a Center Director, the Program Coordinator of the Delaware Family Child Care Alliance, and an Organizer and Legal Services Paralegal. Shay is currently enrolled at Wilmington University as a student of Administration of Justice and Leadership. She holds an Associate degree in Early Care and Education and a Bachelor Degree in Legal Studies and training in Financial Coaching. In addition to her role with $tand By Me®, her current professional experience includes working as a Parent Educator for the Christina School District’s Parents As Teachers Program.
Paula Puello is a Financial Coach at Sussex County Habitat for Humanity.  Previously she has worked as a Family Service Specialist for Telamon Head Start. Paula holds an Associate Degree in Social Work and is bilingual in Spanish and English.