Sing a Song of Sixpence: How all Children and Families Thrive
Most of us have probably sung the song of Sixpence. It’s a strange little nursery rhyme, one with strikingly original opening lyrics we loved as children. Blackbirds fly out of a pie that is set before the king.
This is how childhood should be. We should be singing, from the time we are children, our best song alongside our families, who are our biggest mentors and teachers. At Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, we are committed to making sure they do.
Here at Nebraska Children, we’re firm believers that no matter what time may bring, every child should be able to learn and engage with their parents, and every parent should have the opportunity to cultivate resiliency as their child’s first teacher. Sixpence is just one of our Early Childhood initiatives that helps establish these parent-child bonds, so every child can sing his or her own best song.
For a child to be heard and create his or her own melody in the world, we need to begin to support them early in life. From the ages of birth through three, a child’s brain is a fertile ground which establishes neural connections at a dizzying rate. Therefore, parents and caregivers can help set their children’s foundation up for the formation of these valuable connections. There are a few ways that Sixpence can help.
Sixpence: Singing a Song of Early Childhood Success Since 2006
Sixpence was created when the public and private sectors came together to form an early childhood endowment. Like the song of Sixpence’s history, the initiative may have changed and evolved, but the melody has stayed the same: to converge funds, leverage resources, and pool talent to create long-term, quality early childhood programs. Sixpence serves our state’s youngest, most vulnerable population from prenatal through age three.
Jamie Leach shares her Sixpence takeaways from her experience with her daughter, Adriana, and niece, Sophia, for whom Jamie is her legal guardian.
One More Time, with Feeling: Sixpence and Home Visits Help Families Thrive
As one of their modes of support, Sixpence home visitations pair families up with home visitors. These highly-skilled early childhood professionals are trained to detect, assess, and support children’s developmental hurdles. The home visitor then helps parents to address any developmental challenges their children may have by coaching families to create high-quality, developmentally stimulating experiences to share with their children.
Parents are, after all, their children’s first, most important teacher. Through the display of resiliency, along with the home visitors help, parents can set their child up for kindergarten readiness and cultivate themselves as a role model for resiliency. Today, we spoke with a Columbus family to hear all about their takeaways from their Sixpence home visits!
What community is your Sixpence program?
How long have you been in the program? How old is your child?
I have been in the program close to 3 years now. My daughter is 20 months old and my niece (whom I have custody of) is 15 months.
How has the Sixpence program supported you?
Sixpence has supported me a lot! I’ve gotten support in learning about babies and feeling comfortable asking questions and asking for help too. I’ve gotten help in finding resources when I’ve needed it and getting diapers every month has been a lot of help too.
What do you like about home visitation? What are the benefits you have seen for your family and your child’s development?
I like doing the activities with the babies every week. I also really like the socials*. It’s nice to be able to go out and do stuff with the whole family.
Benefits: I see the differences between my oldest (I didn’t have a program like this when he was a baby) and my daughter. She is talking a lot sooner and doing things faster than he did at her age. Before Sixpence, I didn’t realize babies can do things that I didn’t think they knew how to do.
What are your key takeaways from your time in Sixpence?
I’ve learned a lot! Everything I’ve learned I now am able to use with my niece and continue to do with my daughter as well.
*The socials she is referring to are ongoing supportive events which Sixpence holds through their family engagement grant model. The socials are offered monthly as a form of parent involvement.