December 14, 2020
This innovative home visitation program will bring more school readiness resources to young children and families.
Through a rigorous selection process, Mile High United Way was selected to launch the tenth Home Instructions for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) site in the state of Colorado. HIPPY is an internationally-recognized program that supports parents and their young children to ensure they have the tools to enter kindergarten ready to learn and thrive.
This evidence-based program delivers proven early learning curriculum through 30 weekly home visits to families with children ages two to five. These one-on-one interactions between a trained home visitor and family have 40 years of rigorous research that demonstrate the program’s effectiveness, especially those families in under-resourced communities. The sessions are currently being held virtually.
The program aligns with Mile High United Way’s United for Families initiative, which aims to increase access to high-quality early learning experiences in our most under-resourced communities. The Mile High United Way-led program is being piloted in Aurora, CO with 30 families, specifically targeting the neighborhood surrounding Lansing Elementary School. Mile High United Way identified Aurora as an under-resourced community through rigorous data, evaluation, and community assessments led by the Mile High United Way. Aurora is considered a childcare desert; lacking early childhood education opportunities.
Aurora is one of four neighborhoods that falls under the Mile High United Way United Neighborhoods strategy, which brings holistic programming, including programs like HIPPY, and community partnerships to identified under-resourced neighborhoods. Mile High United Way hopes to expand the HIPPY program into more communities soon.
The foundation for the HIPPY program is trained and trusted HIPPY home visitors who meet with families weekly. Mile High United Way prioritized hiring staff who are not only experts in their field, but who have also participated in the HIPPY program themselves; bringing a unique perspective and passion for the program. Catalina Gonsales, Community Advocate Supervisor and HIPPY Coordinator at Mile High United Way, was recently interviewed by CBS Denver about the HIPPY program, see the full story here: CBS4 United Way focuses on early childhood education in Aurora.
“We know that a parent is a child’s first and most important teacher,” said Molly Yost, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives at Mile High United Way, and a parent herself. “We are thrilled to launch this program because now more than ever, families who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic need tools and resources to ensure their children don’t fall further behind. HIPPY not only prepares children for kindergarten but supports parent engagement in their child’s learning and knowledge of developmental milestones.”
Mile High United Way continues to focus on expanding access to high-quality early childhood education across our state. Mile High United Way was recently chosen to receive a 2020 Building Healthy Futures Award from Healthy Child Care Colorado for our partnership in building safe, supportive, and healthy early childhood settings and systems in Colorado. Read more about the announcement, here.