COVID-19 Resources and Information for Families Available Below
Welcome to FamilySPEAK! This site is a tool for strengthening families by providing family support, parent education and knowledge in one accessible location. Providing resources and supports positively impacts our community as families thrive and children develop their potential.
FamilySPEAK is maintained by Alliance for Kids (AFK), El Paso County’s Early Childhood Council. AFK is a program of Joint Initiatives for Youth & Families, and is guided by the Colorado Early Childhood Framework.
Supporting Children & Families
Need help finding child care?
For assistance finding child care, please call the free Colorado Shines Child Care Resource & Referral Line (877.338.2273). They assist families seeking quality early care and learning programs in the community that meet their child’s needs. For details, visit our Finding Child Care page.
Are you considering or planning to enroll a child in kindergarten?
FamilySPEAK offers families a hub of kindergarten information. Visit FamilySPEAK.org/kindergarten for information about school choice enrollment, finding your “home” school based on your address, links to each El Paso County school district, an Education Guide listing all area schools, school- and district-specific information for Fall 2021, and many resources for helping families navigate their child’s transition to kindergarten.
Are you a family member, friend, or neighbor providing child care?
If you are a family member, friend, or neighbor providing regular child care for children other than your own, especially during this COVID-19 crisis, Alliance for Kids is here to help! We can provide you with FREE, personalized, virtual support and early learning resources/ideas to help children thrive. To learn more, download our FREE Flyer, or contact Kim Santaniello, Early Childhood Coach, at 719.650.3736 or KSantaniello@jointinitiatives.org. (FREE = Fostering Resilience in Early Education)
Resources from El Paso County Public Health & More
Local and state agencies offer a wealth of information to help families navigate the challenges resulting from COVID-19. Whether it’s behavioral health concerns, financial and food assistance, health and wellness resources, or employment questions, we invite you to visit the Resources for Families page of this website for access to local supports to help meet your needs.
Is your family hosting or participating in a Learning Pod?
Learning pods are being formed by families of school-age children in homes of parents and other adults to facilitate the supervision of the children who are learning remotely during the school day. The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) are providing parents and caregivers with guidance regarding joining a learning pod this school year. CDHS and CDE released the guidance, called the Resource Guide for Individuals Hosting and Families Participating in Instructional Learning Pods, to help families navigate different learning environments for their children. Use the Resource Guide link or read more HERE.
Family and Child Well-Being Resources
To support the needs of families, including needs stemming from COVID-19, FamilySPEAK has gathered important information and resources to support children and families and to promote the well-being of everyone. We have categorized our information into sections below to help you navigate the resources that will best meet your needs. We’ll be adding them too – so visit again soon! These resources were shared by email with our Buzz subscribers, click HERE to read this edition.
For our special blog posts on What Makes a Strong Family, visit our Blog HERE.
Posts are based on the five Strengthening Families protective factors of Social Connections, Parental Resilience, Concrete Supports in Times of Need, Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, and Social & Emotional Competence of Children.
How is your family staying strong?
We like to share stories of things making a positive difference in the lives of families…send us ideas for how your family is staying strong or share how a resource helped you!
Education & Support Pathways
Parenting & Beyond
In its collaboration with community organizations, FamilySPEAK comes across ideas, resources, and opportunities that fall outside our main topics…we’ve shared them below.
FamilySPEAK brings you class information on the calendar page, including those that meet court ordered requirements. Our Video Library offers an Early Learning and Development Guideline series to increase your knowledge as a parent or caregiver. The Supports menu provides resources for families, schools, and the community; promoting education on positive parenting, reducing the stress of parenting, nurturing caring relationships, increasing knowledge of child development, connecting to supports, and helping your child manage feelings and relationships.