Sixpence: Scottsbluff’s Home Visitors and Parents Share Successes

The Sixpence Early Learning Fund is Nebraska’s signature public-private initiative to promote community-based programs focused on the developmental needs of children prenatal-to-age-three (PN-3), especially those most likely to encounter obstacles to their healthy cognitive, social-emotional and physical development.  

Is Sixpence coming to a place near you? As of August 2021, we're currently funding over 40 grantees across Nebraska. Families work with home visitors including (above right) Jyselle Loos and her toddler and baby.
Is Sixpence coming to a place near you? As of August 2021, we’re currently funding over 40 grantees across Nebraska. Families work with home visitors including (above right) Jyselle Loos and her toddler and baby.

From one of our parents:  

“When I started in Sixpence, I was a young mother who lived with my family. I had no job, no car, and no place of my own to go. My daughter and son have made friends through the program, and I have learned little things that help me better feed, teach, and play with my children. I now live in my own place; I have a car, and a job, and I get special and fun moments with my children every week with the activities and stories Sixpence provides. My daughter learned everything from crawling to sign language with the help I’ve received, and my son is fast following behind.  

Ember (right) is one of home visitor Janelle's families. Here, Ember plays with their child while providing a developmentally engaging experience!
Ember (right) is one of home visitor Janelle’s families. Here, Ember plays with their child while providing a developmentally engaging experience!

It’s a great gift to watch them grow, but even better to help nurture them into that growth. Sixpence is such a great program for families just starting off; they have provided so much support for me and love for my children, as well as fun activities they otherwise wouldn’t get to do.

The weekly visits are something we all look forward to; my children absolutely adore their home visits and I love learning something new every week. Even throughout COVID-19, with the digital visits, we are learning and growing together. I look forward to the years I have left and highly encourage anyone who can to join their local Sixpence Program. “ 

Ember, (above, middle) with their toddler and baby.
Ember, (above, middle) with their toddler and baby.

From the home visitor regarding this parent: 

This mom began in the Sixpence program in July 2018, when her daughter was two months old. She was living with the relatives of her significant other and later married him. They moved several times and he left shortly after she became pregnant with their son. Mom became depressed and suicidal. She accessed hospital care to seek treatment and medication. Sixpence home visits continued to provide support and connected her with outside groups like Embrace Grace (for single, pregnant, and new moms).  

The Loos family (above) and their children engage in developmentally-appropriate, fun learning so their infant and toddlers can thrive!
The Loos family (above) and their children engage in developmentally-appropriate, fun learning so their infant and toddlers can thrive!

Since then, she has grown from full family support to getting her own apartment, getting a driver’s license, and buying her own car. Throughout, she has nursed her two children and is also working 30 hours a week. Watching her interact with the children is a joy, as she is so in tune with their needs and developmental stages.   

From another one of our parents:  

Sixpence has been an amazing experience for my family. We started when my oldest was around two years old in 2017. We continued with the program until the summer of 2020 when my youngest aged out. My children grew and learned so much better with the program. My kids developed much better after joining the program.   

My own struggle with mental health was helped through the program because I was put in touch with local services to help me, as well as have a dear friend in my Sixpence worker, Janelle.  

Sixpence can connect parents to supportive resources to help them thrive along with their babies and toddlers!
Sixpence can connect parents to supportive resources to help them thrive along with their babies and toddlers!

I will forever be grateful for my time with Sixpence. It has had a positive impact on my life. My children learned their core skills so much faster, and social skills were strengthened through the program’s events. I was able to grow in confidence as a parent as well as a human being.  I always suffered from low self-confidence. However, since joining Sixpence, I’ve learned to accept that it’s ok to be just “good enough,” and I was then able to focus on my children more instead of spending all my energy on trying to be perfect. My children were able to develop a lot of self-confidence during their time with the program. They are very independent and excited to try new things.  

Without the help of Sixpence, I would not have contacted with many services, such as Circle of Security (parenting class) and the Cirrus House, who helped me with my mental health. We were able to grow stronger as a family to the point where we were able to buy our first home in June of 2019.  

My time with Sixpence and working with Janelle has been some of the happiest times in my life because I have been given the skills and confidence to grow and expand as a mother and person.  

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Nebraska Children and Families Foundation supports children, young adults and families at risk with the overall goal of giving our state's most vulnerable kids what they need to reach their full potential. We do this by building strong communities that support families so their children can grow up to be thriving, productive adults.

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