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Nido Nurturing Center

Creating an environment that is interactive, caring, and developmentally stimulating for infants and empowering parents with resources.

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Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)

I have made changes and refinements during the prize, by trying to make sure my idea is understood and make sense to others.

Name or Organization

Nido Nurturing Center (


Washington, DC

What is your stage of development?

  • New Innovator, with less than one year of experience in ECD


  • Team

What is the stage of your proposal?

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

We are creating a highly interactive daycare center for infants. Science indicates that infant's brains are the best learning machines ever created! Early experiences affect the development of the brain architecture, which provides the foundation for all future learning , behavior, and health. According to the "innovation approach" design by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University , the first years of life, more than 1 million new neural connections form every second. We will aim to empower parents, caregivers with health and learning resources to set them up for success.

Select an Innovation Target

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries.

Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)

Nido Nurturing Center(a high quality infant daycare) aims to service infants of low income families to address lack of infant spaces availibility in the present daycare centers in the Brookland area of Washington DC. The present daycare centers have no availability and their waitlist is overwhelmed.

What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)

There are so few infant day care centers that attack child brain development stimuli early on, prior to schooling, where the brain is still so eager to learn. Nido will provide an environment that exercises the young infant mind before pruning occurs.

Explain your idea (5000 characters)

The idea of creating Nido Nurturing Center is in the build out process. Our project is almost complete. We aim to open our doors in the Spring of 2018. This Spring we will be testing our idea with real users, we simply need the funds to service infants of low income housing. We will provide an environment that exescises the young infant mind before pruning occurs. Our aim is to build a strong brain architecture for our infants! OSSE or the Office of State Superintendent of Education, in Washington, DC, and the Council of the District of Columbia and Chairperson, Committee of Education, David Grosso, are aware of Nido Nurturing Center and are very excited to hear of our opening. They have requested a tour of Nido Nurturing Center when we open our doors. There are so few high quality infant daycare centers in Washington DC, Brookland area, Ward 5 and there are no infant or primary daycare centers with availability in the area, they are either full and/or the waitlist is overwhelmed. We are committed and inspired to the "innovation approach" designed by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and we will incorporate the Developmentatlly Appropriate Practice (DAP) outlined by NAEYC. We have a flexible approach to curriculum in order to be responsive to all children who enter our doors. Nido Nurturing Center, infant daycare will follow the following principles: •The family is at the core of a young child’s learning and development. •Infant/toddler learning and development is grounded in relationships. • Emotions drive early learning and development. • Responsiveness to children’s self initiated exploration fosters learning. • Individualized teaching and care benefits all children. • Responsiveness to culture and language supports children’s learning. • Intentional teaching and care enriches children’s learning experiences. • Time for reflection and planning enhances teaching and care Just as a weak foundation compromises the quality and strength of a house, adverse experiences early in life can impair brain architecture, with negative affects lasting into adulthood. We will partner with the parent/guardian, caregivers and the commuity for we cannot achieve the goals alone. We will coach them with health and learning resources to set them up for success.

Who benefits? (1500 characters)

The child, the parents and the community will benifit from a being that is confident, loved, secure, and has imensive learning capabilities that begin with concrete brain architecture. Long-term achievements are inevitable. Nido's team has not only practiced in a typical day care setting, but are also experienced working with infants and children in early intervention.

What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)

Our idea leads to long-lasting outcomes. We will be empowering parents and help them understand that "responsiveness" to children's self-initiated exploration fosters learning. We will be empowering our teachers, that Individualized teaching and care benefits all children and Responsiveness to culture and language supports children’s learning. Our teachers will understand that Each child is unique. Our Infant/toddler care teachers will use their understanding of each child’s blend of temperament, family and cultural experiences, language experiences, personal strengths, interests, abilities, and dispositions to support the child’s learning and development. By 2019 we aim to open another Nido Nurturing Center in another area in Washington, DC where there is a need for infant/toddler care. Research shows that responsive care and nurturance not only promotes the development of emotional security in children, but learning and development in general. At Nido we aim to bring our program to 20 infants/toddlers, in an area where infant daycare availability is overwhelmed. Nido will be using a different model, our model, based on the "innovation approach"

How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)

The percentage of children living in low income homes is high. At the same time, the benefits of high-quality care and education are more pronounced for children from low-income backgrounds than for other population subgroups. Children from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to benefit from high-quality care and education when the curriculum is attuned to their learning strengths and needs. We will welcome infants from low-income status, empower their parents by providing them with trainings, videos, health and learning resources. We will service low income children, but we need the funds, grants, donations to provide our services to them. Also, Children with disabilities or other special needs are another part of DC’s population of young children. Children with disabilities or other special needs benefit from learning in inclusive environments with typically developing children. Studies have shown that with appropriate support and assistance, children in inclusive environments achieve more than children in segregated environments. When we have the funds, we will accept a couple of children with moderate to minor disabilities. The diversity of young children means that every infant/toddler program needs a flexible approach to curriculum in order to be responsive to all children who enter its doors, and Nido will be responsive to the competencies, experiences, interests, and needs of each child, making curriculum individually and culturally relevant!

Innovation: What makes your concept innovative? (5000 characters)

It’s hard to find access to care for people who don’t know where to look . Neighboring daycare Center's have no vacancy and their waitlist is overwhelmed ( no more space on waitlist). Nido is not a daycare but a “nurturing center” which will train and empower parents with resources and knowledge in addition to state of the art quality care. Our major focus will allow infants to grasp new concepts easily, become well prepared to handle adversity with strong brain architecture.

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)

Nido is using a refined model applied to a new user group of low income families. Presently there are no infant or primary day care centers in the region with availability. The present daycare centers have no availability for infants and their waitlist is overwhelmed. We are walking distance to Catholic University in Washington, DC and right in the middle of the new development in Brookland area where young couples are moving in.

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)

Nido Nurturing Center is more than a concept, an idea. It is an infant nurturing center in full formation. We have signed a lease, are in the build out process, have passed preliminaries inspections. We have started to receive pre-enrollment applications. Parents are requesting or making appointments to save their spots. We aim to open in early Spring of 2018.

Business Viability: How viable is your business model? (5000 characters)

I basically have all the resources for the build out and capital to pilot. I need the funding to accept infant of low income housing. I plan to apply grants, accept money from donors, I will have donation button on website, but ultimately the IDEOPRIZE will catalyze infant care for those who cannot afford.

HCD: How have you used human centered design to build or refine your concept? (5000 characters)

Our ultimate end user, our low income families who are looking for quality care in early developmental year for their child. We gathered many ideas to create a framework that help us visualized where all of those ideas were pointing in order to make them into a system. We took our strong individual concepts for how we describe quality care and found a solution of substance. Nido came to a conclusion that along side our innovation approach, educating parents and staff is detrimental to creating the perfect environment for infant brain development. Our concepts guarantee cultural relevance, impact and scalability for improvement.

Tell us more about you (3000 characters)

I have always had a passion for children. I have a BA in Psychology under human services emphasis, with 14 years of experience working with infants to age 5. Before Nido Nurturing Center I worked as a special ed. teacher for the early intervention infants up to age 5yrs., a former Director/owner for a typical daycare center infants to age 5 as well as managing my husbands business while my children were in school. This idea of Nido Nurturing Center was in gestation for the past 3 years, now ready to come to light in early Spring of 2018! I see around me many new parents, how they miss the opportunity to communicate with their infant or child. And see how these new parents are neglecting their infant, not because perhaps they are doing it deliberately but because they are underestimating the intelligence of their infant. This is the time to educate our new parents, the expecting parents, caregivers and the community as well! Infants are so bright, and aware of their surroundings, they communicate with gestures, expressions and movements. They thrive for information, exposure and communication! We adults just sometimes underestimate the infants capacity of learning, they are so bright and sometimes we just take that for granted. As a parent of two boys, I taught them as infants to communicate with two simple signs, "eat" or "more" and by age of 9 to 10 months my boys were communicating those two signs, reducing their level of anxiety by crying less but by communicating when hungry or thirsty, with two simple signs! Babies are just such bright little human beings and we can do so much to help them become successful human beings, ready to deal with adversity, by providing them with the proper strong foundation at infancy.

Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (600 characters)

We presently have people to do what I have described. What I am looking for is grants, organizations to donate, so we can provide our services to infants of low income families.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)

I need the funds/grants to invite low income families, whom cannot afford to paid the tuition. I am creating a high quality nurturing center for infants and their families. I am using my personal savings and waiting of a loan to finish pay for the build out of Nido Nurturing Center. Other wise I will continue to use my personal resources. My passion is to include low income families, but I need the funds/grants to make this possible. If this nurturing center goes and it will go well, I intend to open another one in the near future. I need assistance is finding ways funds to welcome low income infants. Any help or suggestions are welcomed.

Would you like mentoring support?

  • Yes

If so, what type of mentoring support do you think you need? (1200 characters)

I am about to test it with real users, any suggestions, advice, ideas, guidance, any type of support welcomed please. I am seeking Financial support to welcome low income infants.

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?

  • Yes, share my contact information

[Optional] Attachments: Please upload relevant attachments or graphics or show us how you prototyped.

Describe your submission in one clear sentence

Nido Nurturing Center aims to use the "innovation approach" designed by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University to address the challenges of adult's responses to a child. If the adult's responses to a child are unreliable, inappropriate, or simply absent, it is a serious threat to a child's development and well being.


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