The Family Center/La Familia has served working families and the Latinx community in Northern Colorado since 1995, and is one of 33 family resource centers in the state. Our center is seen as a safe and a trusted space, where children and families learn and connect with each other improving social skills, reducing social isolation, developing leadership skills, and gaining access to community resources. Our high-quality Early Childhood Education Program serves more than 75 children whose parents work and attend school. “El Nidito” opened its doors in 2000, to respond to the community’s desire for affordable and accessible early childhood education. Our center has been significantly investing in quality improvements including educational, social, and emotional support interventions for children and staff and is a Colorado Shines Level 4 rated early childhood center.
In 2020, we reaffirmed our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), through the creation of a strategic plan that involves ongoing advocacy efforts around equitable practices and inclusive access to resources. We are fortunate to have one of the most diverse working boards where all the members combine their talents in innovative ways on behalf of the organization and the community. In 2020 Gloria Kat became the first Latina to serve as the center’s Executive Director and she continues to guide our efforts for providing culturally competent services and advocating for a highly valued early childhood education workforce.
Adopted by the board of directors in 2018 with extensive input from staff, families and the community, the mission of The Family Center/La Familia (TFC/LF) is:
Working alongside diverse families we provide high quality childcare and supportive services, with an emphasis on cultural attunement with the Latinx community. This work is done with an explicit vision of creating a community in which all families are safe, supported, and thriving.
In addition to the mission and vision, there are six core values that guide the work and are clearly defined as follows:
Inspiring confidence and mutual respect creates a foundation for reliable support and good stewardship.
Every person has inherent dignity and is worthy of respect and empathy.
Non-dominant cultures, identities, perspectives, and experiences are celebrated, embraced, and inform direction.
The structural, cultural, and relational inequities experienced by oppressed groups must be courageously recognized and dismantled.
All people feel welcome, valued, and empowered to contribute to, and participate in, community.
Loving, healthy relationships are critical for children in the first five years of life and benefit the child, the family, and the entire community.
Three Pillars of Services:
These values and mission execution are accomplished through three primary pillars of services which are in direct alignment with Caring for Colorado Foundation’s focus areas and initiatives. As Larimer County’s only family resource and early care and education center, TFC/LF offers quality ECE programming and a full array of supportive services to over 1,000 individuals and over 400 families each year. In addition, beginning in 2017, TFC/LF began to play a lead role in upstream community efforts around policy advocacy and diverse community engagement for both affordable housing as well as access to affordable early childhood education.
El Nidito, TFC/LF’s state-licensed, Colorado Shines level 4 rated, early care and education program, providing a multicultural and bilingual experience for up to 75 children and families every day. TFC/LF partners with Poudre School District to provide the Colorado Preschool Program and Larimer County’s only center-based option for Early Head Start.
Bilingual home and community-based services utilizing a strengths-based family-centered approach and education opportunities to support the whole family. Through the Colorado Family Support Assessment 2.0, our culturally competent Family Specialists work alongside families to identify their strengths, areas of opportunity, and readiness to change. Services include parent education, car seat safety classes, Mental Health First Aid, advocacy, and connection to community resources that families may not be able to access due to barriers such as language or lack of technology.
Mi Voz, a leadership development program funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Office of Health Equity, is dedicated to making positive changes in mobile home parks and the North College corridor by utilizing community strengths to create community-led solutions. Through civic engagement and advocacy, community members shape the community around them through engaging with elected officials, participating in public input, and mobilizing the community’s voices. In 2021, the Leadership Lab launched in partnership with the Family Leadership Training Institute (FLTI) to offer a program designed to strengthen participants’ leadership and collaboration skills, with the purpose of creating more inclusive communities where families can thrive.