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

Learning together to create stronger communities

The story below comes from a HIPPY home visitor in Pueblo.

HIPPY is so many different things to many different people. It can be a savior for a child’s education and an outlet for a parent to share their concerns for not only their child but possibly themselves.

I am going to talk about a family that I have had for three terms in the HIPPY program and has made big strides in her child’s education as well as her own personal life. This particular parent was having trouble with their child being able to identify different shapes. She has had an older child in the program and expressed the concern that with her older child she never had an issue with shapes, colors, or numbers. I reassured her that every child is different and especially with younger siblings.

She felt better and continued to work with her son on all of the Year 1 activities. Every week I made sure to ask about how their week has gone, not just with the program but in their personal life as well. As we came near the holidays this year I could see her fear easing about the progress her son was making with his shapes. He was successfully able to identify all of his HIPPY shapes. The mom was so excited she actually texted me to let me know how he was doing.

Fast forward to this week and she was again worried about his progress. She was afraid he was not learning his numbers as he should. However, rather than getting upset or becoming more anxious, she had the tools and support to chart a different path. She told me all the ways she was helping him to work on it. She also recognized that when she would get anxious it was counter productive, saying that when she would stress about his work he seemed to be able to sense her frustration, not with him but with herself.

During our home visit continued she mapped out her plan to get him back on track. As I sat and listened to her explain her plan and how she gushed over all of his progress, I couldn’t help but be thankful that I’m part of such an amazing program that not only helps out the children in our community but also our parents.

I feel as though my part in the HIPPY program has made me feel incredibly grateful to be a part of something so amazing. I have met so many amazing parents, some of which have taught me how to be a better parent and educator to my own children.

Two Generation Impact in Pueblo

The two generation impact of home visiting can be life changing.

Below is a success story shared with us from Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pueblo Parents as Teachers program.

For nearly two years our home visitor has worked to engage and support a local family. The family entered the program as a referral from the Child Welfare Department of Pueblo County Department of Human Services (DHS). At the time of the referral, the family was living in a shed. A local school had made a report to Pueblo DHS because the family’s older boy was going to school in soiled clothing and had poor hygiene. The Case Worker from DHS, sent in the referral to our program because after receiving utilities assistance from DHS the family had refusing to let the caseworker back into their home. The Case Worker made a referral for this family because they had one child that was eligible for Parents as Teachers  (PAT) services.

After rejecting DHS, the family allowed the Parents as Teachers home visitor into their home and enrolled their child into PAT. Over the last two years our home visitor has become a trusted resource for the family.  Rather than pushing the home visitor away, the family has welcomed her, eagerly engaging in home visiting activities to build their child’s growth and development.

The family will be leaving the program this month, as their child has successfully completed Parents as Teachers.  During their participation, the youngest child has met all of his milestones and is developing on target and ready for preschool. The oldest child that was the cause for the initial referral from DHS, has also improved in his attitude and school performance. Along the way during their involvement with PAT, the home visitor has given these parents, parenting tips and skills to help with the discipline and behavior of all their children.

The impact goes beyond the children as the mother has decided to pursue her High School Diploma due to the encouragement of her home visitor. This mother told her home visitor that this has always been her dream and she never thought she would achieve it. With the support and guidance of her Parents as Teachers home visitor she will accomplish this dream.