A Denver home visitors reflects on her work – LTE

a letter to the editor recently published in the Denver North Star

Last week, I worked with 11 families with young children in Denver. I spent time with each family, showing them how playing with simple tools, like bubble solution and pipe cleaners, or water and plastic cups, can build fine motor skills and stimulate brain development in young children.


As a home visitor in Denver, my job is to work alongside families with young children to lay the foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing. My job brings me great joy, but I know it also brings about great change for children, their parents and their communities.


In fact, research shows that home visiting programs promote maternal health and have a long-term positive impact on children’s academic achievement. Home visiting even supports families to become economically self-sufficient by helping parents pursue career opportunities.


Data tells us that families participating in home visiting gain from the program, but society as a whole also benefits from home visiting. For every tax dollar we spend on home visiting, we save between $1.80 and $5.70.


This is why I am asking Colorado’s member of Congress to reauthorize federal funding for home visiting. This funding, known as MIECHV, will expire on September 30. Congress must act to support valuable home visiting programs across Colorado and the United States.


Join me in helping Colorado’s children and families thrive by calling on Congress to reauthorize MIECHV.


Erika Echeverria, Denver

Home visits improve kids’ lives – letter to the editor

A recent letter to the editor published in the Elbert County News

 

As an educator, I know how important a child’s early years are. Those crucial years are the most important in ensuring children are set up for success in school and in life.

 

Throughout my career, I have seen that young children who receive quality early education and care have a strong emotional and academic foundation that serves them well in school. But, not all children and families have the necessary supports to provide their children with what they need to thrive during the early years. That’s why the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) is so vital. This program has a proven track record, and the benefits are far reaching: children who receive voluntary home visits have better health, education and economic outcomes.

 

Unfortunately, funding for MIECHV ends in September. Congress must urgently reauthorize MIECHV to ensure families keep getting the support they need, and meet growing demand for Home Visiting. Estimates show that  MIECHV has reached less than 5% of eligible families. Families across Colorado and the United States need the support MIECHV offers.

 

Join me and Save the Children Action Network in urging Congress to increase funding for MIECHV. All children – no matter their socio-economic background – deserve the best possible start in life. And, home visiting helps to ensure they receive just that.


Cathrine Aasen Floyd, Ph.D

Volunteer leader

Save the Children Action Network

Centennial


Pueblo’s Parents As Teachers program earns national recognition, once again.

The Catholic Charities-Diocese of Pueblo’s Parents As Teachers program was designated a Blue Ribbon affiliate for the third consecutive year.

To earn Blue Ribbon Affiliate status
sites must undergo a rigorous evaluation over and above what a normal
site experiences. According to Parents as Teachers:

“To earn the Quality Endorsement,
affiliates must complete a comprehensive self-study and review process
that demonstrates they are meeting or exceeding the Parents as
Teachers Essential Requirements, along with at least 75 of the 100
Quality Standards.”


To learn more about the the program and read the story of its impact on the Espinoza family check out the article in the Pueblo Chieftain.

Passage of Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act includes a doubling of funding for MIECHV

On December 12, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, The Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The bill seeks to lower prescription drug prices by allowing the government to negotiate with drug manufacturers. Of note to those interested in home visiting was the inclusion in the measure of Representative Danny Davis’ (D-IL) request to dramatically increase funding for The bill doubles our investment in the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.


MIECHV is a critical source of funding for home visiting efforts in Colorado and throughout the country.


According to Representative Davis:

The bill doubles our investment in the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (or MIECHV), a proven tool to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity.  Currently, MIECHV only serves about 150,000 of the estimated 18 million expectant and new parents who could benefit from its help. By doubling the federal investment in home visiting over two years, we would make it possible for more communities to address the root causes of maternal mortality and morbidity. In addition, H.R. 3 would quadruple the federal investment in home visiting in American Indian communities. Native American women are 4.5 times more likely to die from pregnancy and childbirth complications, but only 23 of 425 eligible tribes receive any federal home visiting support under current law.  The promise of this provision is reflected by its support by over 450 state, local, and national organizations.

Three Parents as Teachers affiliates earn Blue Ribbon designation

Colorado’s Parents as Teachers’ sites continue to earn recognition as among the best in the nation. This year the Parents as Teachers National Center awarded Blue Ribbon Affiliate status to three Parents as Teachers sites in Colorado: Colorado Springs School District 11/Adult and Family Education (Colorado Springs); Community Partnership FRC (Divide) and Family Star Montessori (Denver).

To earn Blue Ribbon Affiliate status sites must undergo a rigorous evaluation over and above what a normal site experiences. According to Parents as Teachers:

“To earn the Quality Endorsement, affiliates must complete a comprehensive self-study and review process that demonstrates they are meeting or exceeding the Parents as Teachers Essential Requirements, along with at least 75 of the 100 Quality Standards.”

In an article from the Pikes Peak Courier, Jodi Mijares, executive director for Community Partners Family Resource Center described the effort required to become a Blue Ribbon Affiliate: “To earn the Blue Ribbon Affiliate status, we underwent a rigorous self-study and review process from the National Center, which confirms that we are meeting Parents as Teachers’ standards of fidelity and quality. Blue Ribbon Affiliates are exemplary programs, delivering highest quality services to children and families.”

These three Parents as Teachers affiliates bring the total number of Blue Ribbon Affiliates in Colorado to 10.

Sites that have earned the coveted designation:

Current Realities and Emerging Opportunities

On Friday, November 8, Laura Knudtson (Chair of the Colorado Home Visiting Coalition) and Heather Tritten (Executive Director of Parent Possible) presented on home visiting to Early Childhood Leadership Council Program Quality and Alignment Subcommittee.

Laura Knudtson laid out the current reality of home visiting in Colorado as well as exciting opportunities for expansion and growth. Heather Tritten highlighted the role of home visiting in school readiness efforts – a key topic of discussion in Colorado.

If you are interested in having CHVC present to your group about the state of home visiting in Colorado please contact us

To learn more about the state of home visiting in Colorado check out the archived video from the presentation here