El Pomar, Monfort donations help Best Start for Babies & Toddlers program in Weld, Larimer counties

The Early Childhood Council of Larimer County announced that they received a $90,000 grant from the El Pomar Foundation and a $10,000 grant from the Monfort Family Foundation for the Best Start for Babies and Toddlers program. The combined grants make it possible for Best Start for Babies and Toddlers to offer a third year of classes.

According to Best Start for Babies coordinator Melanie Kelsea, “We are fortunate to have recently received resources to continue our program. In addition, many individuals and organizations from both Larimer and Weld Counties have come forward with donations and in-kind contributions that will help enhance the Best Start for Babies & Toddlers program.”

United Way of Weld County’s Promises for Children, Weld County’s Early Childhood Council, and the Early Childhood Council of Larimer County launched Best Start for Babies, an intensive parenting intervention program, in October of 2010. The initial goal of this program was to help parents expecting a child or those with infants up to one year of age develop foundational parenting skills and increase positive health outcomes for their child. In 2011, the program was expanded to include classes for parents of toddlers.

The program teaches parents about their child’s development, activities for bonding and how to find quality child care and other helpful resources. Classes are 3 hours a week for 10 weeks and include a free meal for the whole family, as well as free child care. Parents receive prizes, such as diapers or car seats, at each class and the classes are free.

Best Start for Babies classes begin May 17 in Fort Collins. For more information about upcoming classes in your area contact Best Start for Babies coordinator Melanie Kelsea at 970-377-3388 Ext.212 or mkelsea@ecclc.org.

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