Sixpence Home–Based Services: You Can Count on Us
In this world, we often assign numbers to various forms of good fortune. Good things happen in threes, we say. Or art is best displayed in odd numbers. From our favorite ages, our best years, to our lucky lottery numbers, we often assign a value to a number.
At Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, we are believers that prevention begins early on, but that supports and services can and should expand across all ages. From families to youth to infants, we can meet everyone wherever they are in their journey.
From birth through three, a child’s brain creates a countless number of new pathways. Sixpence’s home visitation process can support parents and children in engaging developmentally appropriate, stimulating activities. These interactions aren’t only fun, though; they are also intentional. During one of the most intellectually fertile times in their lives, by attending to kids early, we can help them thrive.
Power in Numbers: How Sixpence Began
While each Sixpence-funded partnership is unique and specifically designed to meet local needs, there are three grant models: Child Care Partnerships, center-based services, and home-based family engagement services.
Sixpence is an effort that is made up of local and state-level public-private partnerships. These entities have teamed up to provide an enriching and abundant experience for infants and toddlers on their way to childhood.
By maximizing funds, resources, and professional skills, these partnerships deliver quality experiences and supports to early childhood programs. The primary recipients of the Sixpence programs are children from birth through age three who need to be empowered with kindergarten-readiness tools.
These large state agencies and private philanthropic sectors then formed an endowment. The funds from this endowment are earmarked to create sustainable, quality educational opportunities for our state’s youngest and vulnerable children.
A governor-selected Board of Trustees then chooses recipients using a competitive grant process. Nebraska Children oversees the administrative process and ensures the program’s quality.
Sixpence Home-Based Partnerships Make Change
This initiative pairs families with early childhood professionals, also known as home visitors, who coach and support parents so they can implement high-quality, engaging, developmentally stimulating activities for their children.
Home visitors are trained to detect, assess, and support young children in their developmental challenges. These professionals also coach and support parents so that they can reach their full potential and resilience as their child’s most effective first teacher.
But let’s get back to numbers: The Kellers have four great children. They also participate in Sixpence home visits. Today, we asked them to share their five Sixpence takeaways, benefits, and resources.
Erica and Alex Keller: 5 Takeaways from Their Sixpence Home-Based Experience
- What community is your Sixpence home-based program in? Plattsmouth, Nebraska.
- How long have you been in the program? How old are your children?
All four of my children have been a part of the Plattsmouth Sixpence home-based program over a span of the past 11 years.
- How has the Sixpence home–based program supported you?
With my oldest child, Amy, the home visitor helped me set up early intervention services for her autism.
They provided help with her fine and gross motor skills, speech, cognitive skills, and social/emotional skills. Amy is 11 now and very successful in school. Her love of learning started because of our involvement with her early education through the Sixpence Home-Based program.
Amy was diagnosed quickly because our home visitor was skilled at helping me understand her developmental milestones. Since then, I wanted to continue being involved with the Sixpence Home-Based program with each of my additional children.
I wanted them to have the same fighting chance and head-start at an early education. The Sixpence home-based program has helped to make sure all my children were meeting their developmental milestones and worked with me through any concerns I have had about delays.
4. What do you like about home visitation?
We have always enjoyed our [home visitor!] Not only did my children have fun, but also, they have formed a lasting friendship with the [home visitor] who came to visit each week. The teachers really do care for the children and have always helped our family when we were in need. They have provided us with resources to help us with our bills, home supplies, and family support.
5. What are your key takeaways from your time in Sixpence Home–Based Services?
Our family has nothing but thanks for Sixpence home-based services. My children had the head-start they needed to prepare for school, and the support we needed as parents to continue their learning. They taught us to enjoy the fun and positivity in learning and growing!