Choosing Parenting Curricula: Introducing a Compendium of Evidenced-Based Parenting Interventions


Strong parent-child relationships set the stage for children’s success in school and in life. Discover ways to partner with families to strengthen these relationships in your program using this compilation of evidenced-based parenting interventions for children ages birth to 5. Research has shown that the parenting interventions in this guide support children’s learning and development.

The Compendium includes all the information you need to make choices about parenting interventions you can implement in your program. Many of these parenting programs provide opportunities for parents to learn more about their child, reduce family stress, and deepen parent satisfaction. Find information about cost, training, length of the parenting group, and the goals of the intervention.

Source: National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Partnerships and the Early Childhood Knowledge and Learning Center

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Development of a Measure of Family and Provider/Teacher Relationship Quality (FPTRQ), 2010-2015 


The goal of the FPTRQ project is to develop new measures to assess the quality of the relationship between families and providers/teachers of early care and education for children birth to 5 years of age. The measures will examine this relationship from both the parent and the provider/teacher perspectives, and capture important elements of family-provider/teacher relationships such as attitudes of respect, commitment, and openness to change and practices such as bi-directional communication, sensitivity, and flexibility. The project aims to develop measures that are appropriate for use across different types of early care and education settings, including Head Start and Early Head Start programs, center-based child care, pre-k classrooms, and home-based child care. In addition, a high priority of the project is to make the new measures culturally appropriate for diverse populations, including lower-income and higher-income families, ethnically/racially diverse providers and families, and non-English speaking families and providers.

Tasks for the FPTRQ project include (1) reviewing literature on family and provider/teacher relationships; (2) developing a conceptual model of the key components of family-provider/teacher relationships that promote family engagement and lead to better family, child and provider outcomes; (3) reviewing existing measures; (4) consulting with experts in relevant fields on possible content and format of the measures; (5) holding focus groups with parents and providers/teachers, developing items, and piloting the measure; (6) development of final measures for extensive data collection in a variety of care settings; (7) psychometric and cognitive testing to ensure the soundness of the measures; (8) the development of a sustainability plan regarding training on the measures and production of future editions of the measures as needed; and (9) developing, conducting cognitive testing, and pilot testing measures to assess the relationship quality between Family Service Staff and parents in Head Start/Early Head Start.

Source:  Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families

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Four Important Things Research Tells Us About the Transition to School 


The transition to school is a rite of passage in the lives of children and their families. For children, it means meeting new teachers and friends, adapting to a different and often larger hustling and bustling environment, and adjusting to new rules and expectations. For families, the transition to school can bring about a variety of emotions.

At Harvard Family Research Project we define transition as a process—not just a one-time event—that begins during children’s preschool years and continues into and through 3rd grade. Keep in mind that transition is also a time when children begin to take part in an increasing number of learning settings, both in and out of school. In this commentary (PDF), we highlight four important things that research tells us about the transition to school, including that:

  • Transition is a matter of equity
  • A smooth transition to school makes a difference for children’s outcomes
  • Families play an important role in the transition to school
  • Relationships among families, early childhood programs, schools, and communities are the foundation of effective transition practice

A number of research articles, many using data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–99 (ECLS-K), have informed our thinking about the transition to school. We have provided the references in this commentary (PDF) in alphabetical order as a helpful resource.

Source: HFRP – Harvard Family Research Project

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Early caregiving experiences have long-term effects on social relationships, achievement 


Do the effects of early caregiving experiences remain or fade as individuals develop? A new study has found that sensitive caregiving in the first three years of life predicts an individual’s social competence and academic achievement, not only during childhood and adolescence, but also into adulthood.

The study, by researchers at the University of Minnesota, the University of Delaware, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, appears in the journal Child Development. It was carried out in an effort to replicate and expand on findings from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, which showed that early maternal sensitivity has lasting associations with children’s social and cognitive development at least through adolescence.

Source: EurekAlert! Science News

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Measuring the Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers (Q-CCIIT) 


This report provides an overview of the Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers (QCCIIT) observation tool, which was designed to measure the quality of caregiver-child interactions in child care settings serving infants and toddlers. The tool can be used across different types of settings and measures caregiver support for infant/toddler social-emotional development, cognitive development, language and literacy development, as well as areas of concern (negative caregiving behaviors).This report provides a detailed explanation of the tool itself, as well as its development and its psychometric properties. The authors provide an overview of the conceptual framework that formed the basis of the development of the tool. They then describe the dimensions that the tool measures. They provide information about the development, administration, scoring, and potential uses of the QCCIIT (e.g. professional development, evaluation, and research), as well as observation methods, interpretation and use of results. The end of the report focuses on the psychometric field test, including reliability and validity findings.

Source: Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families

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Relationships as the Foundation of Quality Infant and Toddler Care: A Unit of Four Online Lessons

Relationships as the Foundation of Quality Infant and Toddler Care is a series of four online lessons. Explore the importance of positive, nurturing relationships with infants, toddlers and families, even before the baby is born. As they work through the lessons, Early Head Start staff should think about how relationships are built with babies and families in their programs.

Lesson 1: Relationship-Building Skills
Babies enter the world ready to form relationships with adults. Their growth and development depend on the bonds formed with their primary caregivers. This lesson helps staff identify the relationship-building skills that support positive relationships with babies and their families.

Lesson 2: Prenatal Development and Relationships
The parent-child relationship begins developing before baby is born. During this lesson, staff will explore the senses—touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight, and movement—as they develop before birth. Discover strategies to use with expectant families that support the developing mother-infant bond.

Lesson 3: Building Relationships with Infants in Out-of-Home Care
Positive nurturing bonds with caring adults are the key to the healthy development and learning of infants and toddlers. Using video analysis, this lesson helps staff recognize practices that support and promote positive relationships during routine experiences in group care.

Lesson 4: Using the Five R’s to Support Learning With Infants, Toddlers, and Families
During the previous lessons, staff explored the importance of relationships. This lesson explores how the other four R’s—responsive interaction, respect, routines, and repetition—help build positive relationships.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center and the Early Head Start National Resource Center

Promoting School Readiness! Growth Chart Summer 2013 Edition


Thinking about how to prepare infants and toddlers for school may seem like a premature concept. However, research indicates that school readiness starts long before a child puts on a backpack and heads to kindergarten.

Babies are born ready to learn. Adults encourage this capacity by providing very young children with the experiences and nurturing relationships they need to develop the skills that are related to their later success in school and in life.

At ZERO TO THREE, we understand how young children learn best. This issue of the Growth Chart provides different resources and information to all those who touch the lives of infants and toddlers in order to help prepare children for success in school.


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Family Engagement and Family-Sensitive Caregiving: Identifying Common Core Elements and Issues Related to Measurement


As policymakers and program administrators work to enhance the quality of early care and education settings, there is renewed emphasis on examining specific domain of quality that align with sought after outcomes for children and families. This shift is in part due to recent research that has documented significant, but small associations between current measurements of high quality care and child outcomes.

One quality domain of interest to program administrators and Quality Rating and Improvement System developers focuses on the relationships between families and providers. High quality family-provider relationships have been hypothesized to affect both child and family outcomes. However, there are multiple perspectives on family-provider relationships (e.g., family
engagement, family-sensitive caregiving, family-centered care, parent involvement), each one unique in its emphasis, conceptual model, and targeted outcomes. Consequently, though a number of measures of family- provider relationships exist, each of these measures tend to assess concepts unique to the conceptual model upon which it was based.

Source: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation

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Family-Provider Relationships: A Multidisciplinary Review of High Quality Practices and Associations with Family, Child, and Provider Outcomes


On both the federal and state levels, policymakers and program administrators are interested in how early
care and education settings can improve child and family outcomes through the implementation of effective practices with children and with their families. Family engagement in children’s learning and educational settings and family-sensitive care, which describes aspects of practice that support parents and families, are two related conceptual frameworks, both with the ultimate goal of supporting families in order to promote positive child development. With states including measures of practice and interactions with families in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) ratings and Head Start’s focus on family engagement, there is a growing interest in identifying and measuring the core elements common to both the family-sensitive care and family engagement frameworks. In response to this interest, the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), in collaboration with the Office of Head Start and the Office of Child Care, sponsored the Family- Sensitive Caregiving and Family Engagement Working Meeting: Identifying and Measuring Common Core Elements. This meeting brought together researchers and federal staff to work towards identifying common core elements of family engagement and family-sensitive caregiving in early care and education settings.1 This Brief is based on knowledge gained through a review of the literature, conducted in preparation for the Family- Sensitive Caregiving and Family Engagement meeting. The purpose of this multi-disciplinary literature review is to: a) identify common practices in positive family-provider relationships; b) explore associations between these relational practices and child, family, and provider outcomes; and c) provide a framework and evidence to support the development of future measures.

Source: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation

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EHS NRC Webinars

The following resources, developed by the EHS NRC for the Office of Head Start, are now available. Two archived webinars:

  • Teen Parenting: Bridging Multigenerational Support
  • Through the Eyes of a Baby: Developing Responsible, Respectable Relationships with Infants & Toddlers
Source: Early Head Start National Resource Center