Invest in Children's Early Childhood System Transforms into a Virtual System

by John G. Ladd , Program Officer, Invest in Children

Male child writing in a notebook at a tableSystem allows Invest in Children to continue meeting the needs of families

Parents are a young child’s first and most important teachers. For the foreseeable future, many will be their child’s only teacher. Invest in Children, Cuyahoga County’s public/private partnership that mobilizes resources and research to promote the well-being of young children is aware that parents need support now more than ever. We have been working with our provider partners to adjust how that support is delivered. Here are some examples of recent changes and new resources -- with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

  • Virtual Home Visiting: Our Parents as Teachers, MomsFirst and SPARK home visiting programs, and our Early Childhood Mental Health program, have moved to virtual visits whenever possible. The individual in-person support these programs offer is an important element of their effectiveness. We’ve had to stop in-home visits temporarily, but have adapted these efforts to remain connected with clients and be there to provide guidance and offer resources,  
  • Family Resources on We’ve built out a long list of resources and activity ideas for families spending much more time at home, as well as for other family members who may now be helping out.
  • Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program Pandemic Sites: To slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus, all Ohio childcare and preschool settings have been ordered closed, with the exception of special Pandemic Child Care Sites, which can only accept children of health, safety and essential services workers. Several Invest in Children UPK Preschool sites have received this important designation. Eligible parents needing these services can learn more here.
  • Ready Rosie “Healthy at Home” Toolkit: Ready Rosie’s tools and short parent videos help families with young children create meaningful home-learning environments. We have been providing this award-winning resource to families in our Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program. During the current crisis, these resources have been organized into a special toolkit that is open and free to all families in the community.

At a time when everyone in Cuyahoga County, and the world, is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, we thank our providers for the flexibility and innovation they are bringing to the table. We applaud them as we all adjust to new challenges and opportunities in helping parents continue to nurture their young children, and themselves, through an uncertain and difficult time.