Classes are available to help grow your knowledge on caring for children.

Enrollment for best start for babies classes underway; free classes begin march 7

Published February 2020

Mom smiling down at her babyUnited Way of Weld County (UWWC) has been supporting families in helping to prepare Weld County’s children for the future for the past 20 years. UWWC has facilitated, funded and provided leadership for Promises for Children since 2000.

One popular Promises for Children program is Best Start for Babies. Classes are scheduled to begin on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-noon starting March 7 through May 16 (10 sessions) at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 2101 16th St., Greeley. There will not be a class on April 11.

If you’re having a baby or if you’re a new parent who wants to know more about parenting, Best Start for Babies is the class for you. Eighty-five percent of a child’s intellect, personality and social skills are developed before the third birthday.

“I would recommend this class to other parents because it was very informational and helpful,” said a parent who went through a recent class. “We actually did activities that helped go more into it rather than just reading something.”

The only requirement is that you must be pregnant or have a baby under one year of age, then you can come learn more about parenting with other adults. You can win baby items like diapers and car seats.

Another parent said about the sessions: “I would recommend this because it is a great source of information and resources and it alleviates a bit of the financial burden of parenting.”

Best Start for Babies helps parents create an environment where babies can thrive. Best Start for Babies is a series of 10 classes that provide education and support for you to feel more confident in your ability to respond to your children in healthy and positive ways.

“We all need support sometimes as parents; parenting is a tough job,” said Amelia Ritchhart, Promises for Children family support coordinator. “It’s so difficult to know if you’re doing the right thing, if your child is developing like they should. There’s so much conflicting information out there, so we try to give parents a comfortable space for sharing opinions while also providing good quality, evidence-based information. And everyone can use free diapers!”

The program is available at no cost to parents who are pregnant or have a child under one year of age. Classes are offered in English and Spanish. Free child care and a meal are included. For more information or to enroll, contact Amelia at (970) 304-6174 or email Those interested will be accepted up until March 21.


Published January 2020

Love to Learn 2020A fresh perspective on challenging behaviors will be the focus at the Love to Learn 2020 training on Saturday, February 22 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Greeley at Lincoln Park.

Check-in/breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. with training starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. Cost is $10 per person, which includes a light breakfast and lunch.

Tessa Erickson, Assistant Director for Quality Improvement at United Way of Weld County, said Love to Learn 2020 is a Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) training. TBRI® is an evidence-based parenting and intervention model developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross at the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development. According to The Adoption Exchange website, TBRI® has been built on a solid foundation of neuropsychological theory and research, tempered by humanitarian principles. It is a family-based intervention, designed for children who have experienced relationship-based traumas such as institutionalization, multiple foster placements, maltreatment, abuse and/or neglect.

“Through a series of hands-on activities, discussion and feedback, participants will gain a working knowledge of the application of TBRI® principles,” Erickson said. “This evidence-based model discusses trauma-informed interventions that encourage healthy social development in children.”

Erickson added: “Post-data shows caregivers’ stress levels decreased. There were also significant decreases in their children’s various behavioral problems, such as aggressive behavior, attention problems and negative attachment behavior.”

Those interested can register at

This training is open to everyone in the community for $10. However, it is free to child care providers; this includes foster/adoptive families. Contact or call (970) 304-6189 for a code to attend this training for free. Limited scholarships are available.

The event is sponsored by Promises for Children United Way of Weld County, Weld County Colorado Child Care Assistance Program, Weld Child Care and The Adoption Exchange.

Are you interested in getting your child development associate credential?

Published December 2019

Teacher pointing to a globeUnited Way of Weld County’s Promises for Children now has resources available. With two different options available to you, either in-person classes or online, we have a format that can work for everyone.

Providers Advancing School Outcomes (PASO) is our in-person class, which is available in English and Spanish. English is four hours on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and Spanish is eight hours on Saturdays. In just 15 weeks, you can obtain all the training needed to apply for your Child Development Associate Credential (CDA). Over this time, you will meet other child care providers, develop supportive relationships, learn about resources, enter to win quality improvement items and grow your knowledge on caring for children. We will also offer an online option through CDA Stars. This is a start and stop approach so you can have the ability to complete this on your own time. The online option would be the best choice for someone who wanted to be more independent in their journey to getting their CDA. 

“Not only is the knowledge gained during these classes so valuable, but getting a Child Development Associate Credential makes someone lead teacher qualified in a center or head start program,” said Tessa Erickson, Assistant Director for Quality Improvement at United Way of Weld County. “There is a huge need for qualified staff in the early childhood field.”

Spanish classes run for 15 consecutive Saturdays starting January 18, 2020. English classes start on March 10 and run through June 18, and will be on Tuesdays and Thursday from 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. for 15 weeks. 

The cost is $20 per session, $300 total, and payment plans are available. Cost includes all course materials, but does not include the application fee for the CDA. As an incentive, $150 of your registration will be refunded to those who apply for the credential.

For more details or to discuss cost for the online or English version of the class, please contact Tessa at or call (970) 304-6189. For more details or to discuss cost for the Spanish in-person version of the class, please contact Lorena at or call (970) 304-6183.

Infants and toddlers training in January at Aims

Published November 2019

Toddler playing with number trainOrientation for Expanding Quality in Infant Toddler Care (EQIT) will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at Aims Community College - Ed Beatty Room 143, located at 5401 W. 20th St. in Greeley. The spring 2020 schedule runs from 6-9 p.m. starting on January 14 through April 28. Fees are $30 and the participant may take the class for college credit.

For more information, contact Susanne Gallegos, United Way of Weld County Assistant Director for Early Care and Education Services, at (970) 304-6170 or To register and fill out an application, go to

Facilitated by United Way of Weld County, EQIT is a 48-hour, 16-module course of training designed for individuals who currently work with or plan to work with infants and toddlers and are interested in improving their knowledge and skills. It is particularly appropriate for child care providers, parents or family/friends/neighbors who are caring for infants or toddlers and are looking for an in-depth, hands-on course focused on work with infants and toddlers in group care, one-on-one and who may not have taken many early education college courses. 

The state of Colorado uses this course to provide professional development to those working directly with infants and toddlers, typically as employees at child care centers or in family child care homes.

Topics include infant and toddler development, relationship-based care, developing responsive curriculums and environments, meeting children’s social and emotional needs, partnering with families, responsive caregiving, safe and healthy environments, language and literacy, children with special needs and more.

“I wish I would have taken this class sooner! I’ve been doing this for so many years, but what I’m learning is making my work so much better. Everyone should take this class!” said a class participant. Another class member said, “Taking the EQIT course has changed me as a provider and a parent.”

This course is taught by facilitators who receive a 70-hour training to teach the course to fidelity and are required to have EQIT specific professional development every year. These instructors are committed to replication and fidelity of the course across the state. Many instructors choose to participate in additional training to provide EQIT’s strengths-based coaching, which has been researched and proven to create change in practice for caregivers working with infants and toddlers, and as a result, create higher quality care for babies. 

A Weld County EQIT trainer said, “I love teaching EQIT! When I took the class as an infant provider, it changed how I saw babies, and it changed how I interacted with adults! I’m so thankful that I can share this way of being with those working with young children in Weld County, giving them an opportunity to see babies in a whole new way while enriching the vital work that they do every day. Coaching helps our participants practice the things we talk about in class, strengthens their self-confidence and builds relationships. It doesn’t get any better than that.”


Girl with bullhorn


Along with professional development trainings offered through Promises for Children, United Way of Weld County works with local community partners and nearby counties to bring a variety of resources to you. To find out what trainings are coming up, please click here.