Invest in Kids' (IIK) mission is to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable young children and families throughout Colorado. Working in partnership with local communities, we identify, introduce, implement, and ensure the success of research-based, proven programs.
For 22 years, Invest in Kids' (IIK) has partnered with local communities to ensure the success of evidence-based programs to improve the health and well-being of Colorado's youngest children and families. Serving children in all 64 counties, we support Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) and The Incredible Years (IY). Combined, these two programs support over 15,000 individuals each year. IIK has a rich history of working closely with local communities to successfully implement these two evidence-based interventions. Communities across Colorado have come to know us for our commitment to positive outcomes and our ability to deliver results.
Additionally, in 2020, Invest in Kids adopted a third program, Child First, a national, evidence-based, two-generation model that works with vulnerable young children and families, providing intensive, home-based services. The adoption of Child First supports our partners statewide to heal both children and families-and further protect them from the impacts of poverty and stress.
Community leaders concerned about the barriers children in poverty were facing and the resulting achievement gap founded IIK. With a focus on early interventions demonstrating clear evidence of long-term effectiveness, our founders chose NFP. Forty years of high-quality randomized control trial research including longitudinal data demonstrates that the program clearly produces improved pregnancy outcomes, better child health and development and greater economic self-sufficiency for participating mothers. Shortly after beginning our intensive community work with NFP, IIK recognized the need in the area of early childhood social and emotional skill development and school readiness. Studies validated the importance of social and emotional development of young children as a strong predictor of early academic achievement and a more positive life trajectory. The result of a second national program search was the adoption of IY, which empowers teachers and parents to improve the social-emotional health of children ages 3-5. Over the last 20 years, we have served more than 100,000 children and parents in all 64 of Colorado's counties.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was lost lonely and afraid. I was 14. I knew nothing about caring for a child, but my nurse helped me find my confidence. The program was so important in my life that I plan to become a lactation consultant to help other moms. Without Nurse-Family Partnership I would not have chosen breast feeding, would not be graduating high school this year and may not have chosen to continue parenting. - Erin Smith, NFP Client
Like many first-time moms, I felt unprepared to bring a child into the world. This changed when I met my nurse. She eased my mind and was always available. I will never forget noticing a horrible rash on my daughter's neck. It was 11pm and I was freaking out. Despite the hour, I knew my nurse would be there for me - and she was. She asked thoughtful questions and assured me everything would be okay. I felt so valued in that moment. -Claudia Williams, NFP Client
When I was pregnant, I was scared, confused and unsure what I was going to do. Over time, my nurse taught me to believe in myself. Without her, I doubt I would have finished high school or gone to college. The best moment for me was when I was invited to meet Congresswoman Diana Degette and talk about the program. My dad was there - I remember we were both so proud. I am who I am today because my nurse believed in me. -Jada Galassini, NFP Client
I grew up in a household where we never said I love you. There was lots of yelling and often harsh punishments. Through the Incredible Years, I have developed a clear, consistent, calm and caring approach to parenting that created a safe, loving and nurturing home. Now we say I love you - all day, every day. We praise, encourage, applaud and celebrate all the time! We sometimes yell and scream, but we say I'm sorry. Expectations of what it means to be part of our family are clear and respected. -Gloria Sanchez, IY Participant
I learned such a great deal about child development from The Incredible Years program. The other parents supported me and helped me see that I was not alone. Now we play and we take turns as a family. My daughter accepts not winning all the time. My shift to giving her positive attention helped us develop a strong bond while also helping her be more independent. -Bernadette Ononaku, IY Participant
Our parents never really praised us so we didn't have a model for how to do it. I was frustrated, not knowing what to do, and always in a bad mood. I don't have the words to express how we feel about this class - we made a 180 degree change. Friends ask what we are doing because the change is so profound. It's reflected in how the kids do in school - my son is first in his class, he has good self-esteem, he shares more with me, and once in a while even tells me I am doing a good job. - Myra Perez and Ricardo Andrade, IY Participants