2022 Grants Challenge

Covid Not Over: Attachment Is Solution for Children

During Covid-19, our community bears disproportionate number of infections, family loss, economic hardships and subsequent delays in language and small motor development in our young children. Our Asian community has been a target of hate crimes related to the pandemic. Colegio para Bebes/Baby College offers a free bi-lingual Non-violent Parenting for families with young children at risk for neurological delays and Post Traumatic Stress targeting immigrant, DACA and the low-income families of East LA.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Immigrant and Refugee Support

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

East LA

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

The Problem: We saw the stressed faces of the parents long before the Journal of Pediatrics published their report (3.7.2022) that infants born during the pandemic were testing lower on language, social and small motor development. So many of their families carried their children to Baby College with the child clutching the parent apprehensively, making single syllable sounds, looking terrified. Sixteen-month-old G. screamed for 45 minutes when his mother brought him to the playroom. He lay prone on the floor, arms outstretched, inconsolable. He had been born during the pandemic and had never been outside his home. He was isolated with his depressed mother and a tablet screen. We are not childcare. We are a parenting program. We had never seen this inability to self-regulate. Each parent was asking “Is my child autistic?”

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Our question, as posed by the JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association 3.7.222),” What is the cause of this spike in neurological delays we are observing?” Was it caused by Covid exposure or families under extreme stress and isolation? The early studies released say that it is not correlated to the child or the mother having Covid in utero. Our programs use a therapeutic model for the whole family to heal the damage caused by Covid-19, such as social isolation, child abuse, food instability, and weakened bonds between parent and child. Our team is committed to our progressive Reggio-Emilia therapeutic play-based model program. Our goal is to increase attachment between the parent and child. Research indicates this positive relationship promotes language, self-regulation (and less tantrums), and higher cognitive development. Child Abuse: We have reinstated our bilingual parent support groups “Non-Violent Parenting.” Many parents have shared that they have been depressed during the Pandemic. They find themselves in extreme behaviors of yelling, ignoring the child or using corporal punishment. Food Instability: We have a weekly fresh fruits and vegetable food distribution program. To decrease social isolation, our families and staff celebrate community events such as ‘Immigrants Matter’ Community Art Show, Dia de los Ninos, Dia de los Muertos, Indigenous Peoples Month, and Chinese New Year. Parent after parent testifies, “Baby College saved my baby.”

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Short term We have one gift for our families: HOPE. In one year, we hope to mitigate language and neurological delays in our children and help free our families from food insecurity, isolation, child abuse/family violence and other effects of COVID-19. Our goal is to develop strong effective attachment between children and parents, which will build a foundation of efficacy, purpose and love. Long Term Hundreds of families will experience the benefits of Non-violent Parenting taught in our workshops. Our programs connect with these Latinx children who will grow into productive, self-actuated healthy adults, making LA in 2050 (when these US citizen children are in their 30’s), a better place to live. Getting a great start now, by addressing the negative effects of Covid on children, will lead to greater resiliency in families and their future children.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Our Non-Violent Parenting Program has served over 200 families this year in East LA providing a safe and positive environment where families actively engage in bonding and building trust-based relationships. Parents reported (Guidubaldi-Clemshaw Parent Education Satisfaction Scale, ACE Stress Assessment, Veteran’s Adm. PTSD) to using more effective ways to parent and deal with post-traumatic stress issues. Specifically, parents reported their children’s growth (through ASQ survey) in the use of academic language, self-regulation, and conflict resolution skills. Additionally, we empower parents to advocate for themselves and their children when needing access to health, education and special needs intervention services. Our goal is 100% post-enrollment in pre-K, TK or Kindergarten, Early Intervention or Special Needs Services.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 900

Indirect Impact: 9,000