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The Two-Generation Approach

The Two-Generation (2Gen) approach focuses on creating opportunities for and addressing the needs of both vulnerable children and their parents together. See how CDHS is partnering with Ascend |The Aspen Institute to apply 2Gen approaches in Colorado.

Gateways to Two Generations: Policy Briefing on Early Childhood

What's New In 2Gen

  • Head Start: Embracing a Two Generation Approach to Early Learning - Huffington Post When Head Start was launched in 1965, at its core was the idea that families and communities were integral to supporting children's successful early learning and development. Fifty years ...
    Posted Nov 10, 2015, 12:25 PM by Nicole Grabowski - CDHS
  • Blending, the Big Bang, and Bicha's Next Move There’s no doubt that the state of Colorado is leading the nation in two-generation action that will provide opportunities for and meet the needs of vulnerable children and ...
    Posted Nov 10, 2015, 11:35 AM by Nicole Grabowski - CDHS
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Ascend | The Aspen Institute Blog


Reggie Bicha, Ascend Fellow

Reggie Bicha
Reggie Bicha is the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Human Services. He is leading a system-wide integration of the two-generation approach across this state agency with more than 5,000 employees and a $2 billion budget.  He hopes to demonstrate how a state agency can produce measurable outcomes for children and families through a three-pronged focus. These include:
  • Developing a dual approach to employment for both parents (including custodial parents through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and non-custodial parents through child support) to improve parent and child economic well-being;
  • Increasing pathways for children of low-income families to realize college education and learn financial savings habits through matched college funds; and
  • Increasing the percentage of children in low-income families participating in high-quality child care, leading to improved kindergarten readiness for these children.

The Five Components of 2Gen

There are five components shaping Colorado's Two-Generation Approach:

2Gen Components

  1. Early Childhood Education

    The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) program provides child care assistance to families that are working, searching for employment or are in training, and families that are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program and need child care services to support their efforts toward self-sufficiency.

    Colorado Shines helps families find high-quality child care and early learning programs that fit theirs and their children's needs.

    The Professional Development Information System (PDIS) is the statewide web-based system supporting professional development for Colorado’s early childhood workforce.

  2. Postsecondary & Employment Pathways

    The Colorado Parent Employment Project (CO-PEP) helps parents get jobs and increase kids' financial security.

    ReHire Colorado is a transitional employment program combining wage-paid work, job skills training, and supportive services.

    Colorado Works is Colorado's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and provides public assistance to families in need. 

    Colorado Employment First promotes self-sufficiency and independence by preparing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients for employment through job seeking skills training, work experience and monthly job search support activities.

    Colorado Department of Higher Education

  3. Economic Supports

    The Campaign for Every Kid’s Future is helping kids look toward higher education with Children's Savings Accounts. 

    PEAK is an online service for Coloradans to screen and apply for medical, food, cash, and child care assistance programs. 

    Colorado Works

  4. Health & Well-Being

    The SAMHSA System of Care Grant aims to improve mental health outcomes for children and youth (birth to 21 years of age) with serious emotional disturbances and their families.  

    Colorado Nurse Home Visitor Program (NHVP) provides grants to public or private organizations in Colorado to provide health education and counseling services by specially trained nurse home visitors to first-time, low-income women beginning in pregnancy and up to the child's second birthday.

    The Colorado Community Response program provides a comprehensive, community-based service continuum for families at-risk for child maltreatment through a combination of case management, service linkages, and community supports.

  5. Social Capital

    Colorado Parent Employment Project (CO-PEP) 

    SAMHSA System of Care Grant