Community Organizations

Northern Colorado/Fort Collins Community Organizations

La Familia/The Family Center


About The Family Center

The Family Center/La Familia is an affordable, high quality family and early childhood center that strengthens all families.

The Family Center/La Familia emerged from a coalition of Fort Collins community members concerned about maintaining and enhancing the quality of life for low-income working families.

The organization was established as part of Colorado’s Family Initiative, and as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, maintains a focused vision to provide services that build stronger, safer families.

Since 1995, The Family Center/La Familia has provided the Fort Collins community with quality childcare, education, support and other family strengthening services. A primary goal of The Family Center/La Familia is to strengthen and stabilize low-income working families with children through support services such as childcare, parent enrichment programs, and after-school tutoring. In addition to the services offered.

The Family Center/La Familia, maintains collaborative relationships with area social service agencies, providing referral services to connect clients with additional resources specific to their individualized needs.

Early Childhood Education

The Family Center/La Familia's Early Childhood Education Programs are state certified and Qualistar-rated. Ours is one of the few truly multi-cultural, bi-lingual childcare centers in the Fort Collins area! Having access to affordable childcare allows families to work, participate in Workforce Center programming, and further their education while their children have access to a high quality early childhood education. And though many come to us because we're affordable, many more come to us because of our exceptional quality, our outstanding staff, and our deeply diverse environment. You won't find a "chain-store childcare" mentality here!

We are dedicated to providing high-quality care for infants, toddlers, and pre-school-age children. Our center operates from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding certain holidays. El Nidito accepts Colorado Child Care Assistance Program funding (CCAP) and workforce funding, and is a participant in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

After School Program

Join us Monday - Friday for our fun After School Program! - A tutoring and enrichment program to help kid get ahead. Kids come to The Family Center from school to work on homework and participate in fun enrichment activities. Students and volunteers enjoy nutritious snacks, finish homework, and make new friends. This program meets from 4:00– 6:00 p.m.

For more information on enrollment or to become a volunteer please contact Youth Program and Volunteer Coordinator, Allison Baxter, at or by phone at 970-221-1615 ext 20

Summer Enrichment Program: Read, Learn, Explore

The program is for kids 5-10, and runs for 9 weeks during the school summer recess beginning June 10th and ending August 9th. We host a variety of enrichment activities in areas including literacy, art, science, nature, nutrition, and exercise. Every Tueday and Thursday we will be taking fun field trips to national parks as part of the US Forest Services 'Kids in the Woods' ProgramMondays and Wednesdays we spend time in the classroom and outside playingWe will have numerous off-site field trip opportunities that take place on Fridays.The program is from 9:00AM-3:00PM Monday through Friday. for more information!

Parents As Teachers (PAT)

The PAT program is a nationally accredited, evidence-based program that offers parent education to expectant mothers and to parents of children 0-5 years of age. The objective is to enable parents to help their children learn basic skills through regular home visits and program-site discussion groups and playgroups. In addition, the program provides early detection of potential child developmental delays and health issues; prevents child abuse and neglect; and increases children’s school readiness and school success. On an annual basis, about 50 families and their respective children participate in the PAT program.

The Parents-As-Teachers Program consists of these major components:

  • Home Visitiations
  • Group Connections
  • Health Screenings (Vision, Hearing and Dental)
  • Intentional Playgroups
  • PAT Nutrition Classes

Check out the Parents-As-Teachers officail website HERE.

Community Advocacy

The Family Center provides help to our surrounding community by offering resource and referral to other community agencies.

The Advocacy Closet

The Family Center maintains a small advocacy closet that provides diaper and hygiene products to families in need. The advocacy closet is open Tuesdays & Thursdays from 2pm-4pm.

Car Seat Program


The Family Center is pleased to be able to host Safe Kids Larimer County’s Car Seat Safety Class the last Friday of every month. This class allows families to obtain one car seat per year for their children by taking an hour-long class. In lieu of a class fee, a $20 donation to Safe Kids Larimer County is requested. You must register at least 48 hours in advance in order to attend the class and receive a car seat. Please call (970) 495-7508 to register. Space is limited!

Certified Medicaid / CHP+ Application Site

Need help filing for Medicaid or CHP+? Call one of our advocates and they can help you with your application and even submit it for you. For more information

Utility Assistance


The Family Center is proud to be an "Energy Outreach Colorado Partner. Each year we help distribute thousands of dollars in utility assistance to Larimer County families who need help paying their utility bills. If you need assistance paying your utility bill, please contact Carla Dolan or by phone at 970-221-1615.


The Family Center is also proud to be a community partner of Homeless Gear a nonprofit that is dedicated to providing clothing and outdoor gear to homeless or hidden homeless families living in Fort Collins. Through Homeless Gear’s voucher program, The Family Center is able to give families in need a voucher that allows them to attend the monthly Children in Need distribution event and shop for clothing free of charge. If you or a family you know are homeless or near homeless and in need of clothing please contact one of our advocates or call 970-221-1615.

Adult Education

TFC/LF offers a variety of spanish and/or bilingual classes which aim to improve knowledge and/or skills in a number of areas including. Upcoming classes include: Intercambio ESL Basic Computer Classes (in Spanish) Advanced Computer Classes (in English) Language Exchange: -Language Exchange meets every Monday from 10:30 - Noon in our Adult Education Classroom. This is an opportunity for engmish and spanish-as-a-first-language folks to get together an practice the other language with native speakers. Please Contact our Volunteer Coordinator for more information. Classes and Workshops - We offer a variety of one time and long term classes and workshops on various topics including – Personal Finance, Prevention of Identity Theft, Prevention of Child Abuse, etc. In 2011 over 40 families accessed these education opportunities and these numbers are expected to increase in 2012.Please contact Family Strengthening Services at 221-1615 or check out Calendar register for classes or for any additional information and updates.

Health & Wellness

Our Health and Wellness Program is geared at reaching out to the community so they can learn about, participate in, and adopt healthy practices in their lives. In 2012, over 150 families accessed these programs which included:

Community Garden

We are excited to be moving into our third garden season at The Family Center / La Familia. This year, we are partnered with The Growing Project through their Mentor to Garden Mentor program. We also have a contract garden developer that will be cultivating our bilingual educational workshops, creating a master ecological site map and planting scheme and designing a garden manual specific to The Family Center location.

Cooking Classes

The Family Center / La Familia is a satellite site for Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters course. Cooking Matters is a groundbreaking nutrition education program that helps families help themselves by teaching them how to prepare healthy low-cost meals. Professional chefs and nutritionists volunteer their time and expertise to lead hands-on courses that instruct adults, teens, and kids living in low-income families, how to get the most nutrition out of a limited budget. We offer three Cooking Matters Courses throughout the year and incorporate food from our community garden in the two summer courses which focus on families and at risk youth.

C.A.T.C.H. (Coordinated Approach to Childhood Health)

CATCH brings schools, families, and communities together to teach children how to be healthy for a lifetime. The Family Center is partnered with Health Kids Club and Irish Elementary in order to offer this 12 week program in the fall and spring semesters. CATCH is designed to equip children with the knowledge and skills to make healthy dietary and physical activity decisions.

Food Friends and Mighty Moves

The Food Friends and Mighty Moves program plays a role in establishing healthful behaviors during the early childhood years. Establishing healthful eating and physical activity behaviors early may play a role in addressing the overweight and obesity problem in both children and adults, thus decreasing the risk for chronic disease later in life. Mighty Moves is designed to promote physical activity and enhance gross motor development among preschool-aged children. The ECE preschool classes in conjunction with our Health advocates implement this program twice annually.

PAT Nutrition and Fitness

The Parents as Teachers NUTRITION & FITNESS OF YOUNG CHILDREN Curriculum provides parents with the latest research-based nutrition requirements, feeding behaviors and fitness suggestions for children birth to age 3. PAT parents have to complete a minimum of 9 hours to complete the course.

Application Assistance for Medicaid/CHP+

The Family Center is a Certified Application Assistance for Medicaid/CHP+ which includes Redetermination Assistance for Medicaid/CHP+, TANF and Food Stamps. The Family Center is in the process of becoming a Presumptive Eligibility (PE) site for Medicaid by June 2013

Screenings and Assessments

  • Car Seat Safety
    • The Family Center hosts Safe Kids of Larimer County’s Car Seat Safety Classes and Screenings the last Friday of every month. This class allows families to obtain one car seat per year for their children after completion of the course.
  • Hearing, Vision and Dental Screenings with Early Childhood and PAT children
  • Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ)
  • Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social / Emotional (ASQ-SE)
  • Family Development Plans and Milestone Assessments
  • Colorado Family Support Assessment (CFSA)

Questions? Comments? Email Jessica Bermejo or Astrid or call (970) 221-1615 ex.17


The Family Center / La Familia Volunteers can login to VicNet HERE.

Please fill out an Electronic Volunteer Application HERE.

Check out the Coloradoan article about volunteering with us!

Thank you for your interest in our volunteer program! The Family Center/La Familia offers a wide variety of opportunities that are designed to be rewarding, productive and fun! As a non-profit organization our volunteers are vital to the success of our daily operations. We depend on your generous donation of time and talent to provide quality care for our families. Due to the Nature of our services, volunteers must be 16 or older to work with our kids and youth.

If you would like to volunteer please attend an orientation or contact our Volunteer or by phone at 970-221-1615.

Contact Us

The Family Center/La Familia

309 Hickory Street #5
Fort Collins, CO 80524
Phone: (970)221-1615
All info from their website