Bringing Parenting Education Into Early Childhood Care and Educational Systems

“Societal changes and economic conditions over the last forty years have stimulated millions of American parents to obtain out-of-home child care to supervise and educate their infants, toddlers and preschoolers. As a result, there now exists a vast system of early childhood care and education centers and homes, some of which are licensed and/or supervised by state and federal governments, and some of which are unlicensed and unsupervised.”

“This vast system is now being utilized by the majority of parents of young children, i.e., sixty one percent of all young children participate in some form of out-of-home care (Child Trends Data Bank, 2003).”

“This system could also be utilized as a nationwide vehicle through which the majority of American parents can be assisted in being more effective in raising their children.”

“Such assistance would be very welcomed and badly needed, as effective parenting is a central ingredient in children being ready and capable of making successful use of their formal education experiences. Numerous research studies also indicate that effective parenting is a core ingredient in children making other positive adjustments and community contributions, as well as in predisposing them to stable marriages and successful careers. The reverse is also unfortunately true, i.e., ineffective and uniformed parenting predisposes children to school failure, drop out, and health and mental health problems. These, in turn, often result in delinquency, drug abuse, gang involvement, and crime. Ineffective parenting is also a root cause of child abuse and neglect.”

“So the nation has a great deal to gain from helping all parents to be as effective as possible. The use of the early childhood care and education system for promoting effective parenting is a good way to accomplish this important goal.”

…And so begins a recent book by Dr. Kerby Alvy and the staff of The Center for the Improvement of Child Caring, Bringing Parenting Education Into the Early Childhood Care and Education System (2003).

This pioneering work, which can be downloaded here free-of-charge, details the importance of having parenting education available, the logistical and programmatic challenges that are involved in bringing parenting education into the system, and how all of these matters were successfully addressed in a three-year project, where over 20,000 parents were trained and educated.

The book describes the various parenting programs and materials that were selected for training and educating a culturally and educationally diverse community of parents. It shows how they were brought into the child care system through the cooperation of child care professionals and institutions, and with the involvement of local groups like universities, colleges and parks and recreation centers.

In possibly the most extensive evaluation of multiple parenting interventions ever attempted, the book then discusses how parents and providers took advantage of the services and materials, and the very positive impact that they had on themselves, their children and families, and on their child care facilities.

The book also reports on a new role created for early education personnel as they relate to parents, the role of an Effective Parenting Advocate and Resource Person. The skill and knowledge base for the new role is described. Training conferences and workshops to perform the role are also discussed and the impact of such training is illustrated.

Altogether, the book describes and documents the results of a project that can serve as a national model for bringing parenting education into any regional, statewide or local child care system.

Download the Book (3.01Mb)

A bound version of this book is also available for purchase


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