Centro de la Familia de Utah is a nonprofit organization that promotes healthy and engaged communities by advocating for children’s educational success. Working with children and families since 1975, Centro has excelled at managing early outreach and educational programs among under-served communities in both urban and rural areas.
Today, Centro operates 23 Head Start centers and 4 childcare partnerships in Utah, Colorado, and Nevada. Additionally, Centro manages a portfolio of outcome-based programs for elementary, middle, and high school students, and programs for adults that provide the tools and skills necessary for self-sufficiency.
Dedicated to promoting educational success for children and families and fostering healthy and engaged communities.
Educated, self-sustained, and empowered families strengthening communities.
The organization was originally incorporated in April of 1975 as the Institute of Human Resource Development (IHRD) during the Chicano movement in Utah. Since its inception, the agency has taken an interest in serving young people.
“Centro’s commitment to provide high quality education experiences results in very high participant retention rates, engaged learning in our classes and families who feel well-cared for and respected. We are honored to partner with them, educating all family members, as they learn and implement best practices to care for their individual health and for each other.”
- DeAnn Tilton, Founder of Talk to a Survivor
During the 80s and 90s, programs to prevent substance abuse and its associated problems were incorporated into the agency’s mental health services. To incorporate these programs Centro initiated its Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute (HYLI) program as well as several other community programs. The HYLI program alone provided prevention services to more than 300 high-risk Latino youth.
In 1991, the federal government contracted with IHRD to implement the Migrant Head Start Program (MHSP) for the state. Since then, Centro’s Migrant Head Start Program has annually served more than 400 migrant and seasonal farm worker families via three centers located in the towns of Honeyville, Providence, and Genola. In April of 1994, the board and staff, with the help of community leaders, decided the name IHRD no longer exemplified the mission of the agency and changed its name to Centro de la Familia de Utah.
“Centro incorporated real-time monitoring software as part of their program, which links all monitoring protocols and activities to the Head Start Performance Standards (HSPS), state licensing and to the agency’s 5-year goals allowing for determination of progress made toward goal attainment and/or the need for intentional modification of activities.”
- National Migrant Head Start Association
In 2001, Centro added two Region VIII Head Start centers in Sanpete County and, in 2014, was awarded two more grants to operate Early Head Start Child Care Partnership one for Region VIII and another for the Migrant region.
2020 was a banner year for Centro. Centro expanded into Nevada and Colorado, almost doubling the number of children served through Head Start. In 2023, Centro added another three centers in Colorado bringing the total to 27 centers serving 1,200 children and families in three states.