As the school year is wrapping up, we checked in with Education Director, Joe Ziegler to chat about how things have been going at El Nidito/The Little Nest, the early childhood education center for The Family Center/La Familia. 

We asked Joe what successes he has been most proud of this spring and here is what he had to say: 

“Obviously the biggest successes that we have seen this spring in the El Nidito Early Care and Education program have just been our ability to continue to provide safe and accessible options for care for children and families. And one of the things that I am most proud of is that in addition to providing quality early care and education (ECE) each day, and although we are all spread very thin, we have been able to remain active and engaged with the ECE community locally and state-wide as we all work to address the ever-changing and progressing state of ECE.”

Here are a few of the many ways in which our team has stayed engaged in the community: 

  • Participating in Healthy Childcare Colorado’s Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant Network Hub advisory committee
  • Representing ECE in Poudre School District’s Special Education Advisory Committee
  • Participation in Poudre School District Early Childhood’s Policy Council
  • Maintaining partnerships with the Early Childhood Council of Larimer County, Colorado State University’s School of Social Work, and other community partners to provide an integrated internship program to give students a clear pathway for specialization in infant and early childhood mental health as social work practitioners
  • Participating in Healthy Childcare Colorado’s Pyramid Facilitation Certification Cohort
  • Active involvement in community conversations around Universal Pre-K
  • Active support of the United Way’s Larimer Childcare Fund, including an El Nidito parent as well as an El Nidito Educator providing usability testing to ensure that the platform is delivered in a cultural and linguistically accessible way.

Then we followed up with Joe and asked what other events or activities have been happening with the kids and/or the community, and here is what he shared:

“This spring we had a Community Volunteer Day, inviting families to come help prepare our beautiful community garden for the growing season. As we move into summer, El Nidito students will have more and more opportunities to spend a little time in the garden, learning all about the process of growing and harvesting our favorite foods and plants. We also look forward to spending as much time as possible out in nature this summer, safely exploring our nearby natural areas. 

During the first week of May we provided El Nidito and TFC/LF staff with a week-long celebration of appreciation for all they do. The week included lots of treats and goodies, and was topped off by an amazing family-provided lunch at the end of the week. 

On May 20th, we will be having our annual preschool graduation celebration. This year we have 13 preschool students who will be moving on to do great things in Kindergarten in the fall!”

Thanks for sharing with us Joe. We can’t wait to see what other growth and development happens at the center in the days and years to come!

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