Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
- This strategy can help improve educational disparities, promote healthy childhood environments, and address social determinants of health. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve these outcomes are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
- Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
- Early childhood, family-centered intervention that takes place in schools and early childhood centers
- Designed to promote child social-emotional competence, executive function, and early learning by helping parents and teachers create safe, nurturing, and predictable environments for children
- Includes 14-week parenting program, 14-week social-emotional learning curriculum, and professional development for school leaders and staff
- Developed to reduce racial and socioeconomic disparities in health and education over the lifespan
- Available in English, Spanish and Chinese
Evidence and impacts
Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; the second-highest level of evidence by the National Institute of Justice
- Higher kindergarten achievement test scores
- Higher academic performance, as rated by teachers, from kindergarten through second grade
- Prevention of mental health problems at school (both emotional and behavioral) as problems emerge in first through second grade
- Increases in parents’ knowledge and use of evidence-based practices, and parent involvement in children’s learning, as rated by both teachers and parents
- Statistically significant effect on academic performance at the end of second grade
Best practices in implementation
- To build parent capacity, ParentCorps focuses on five specific strategies: building authentic relationships, honoring culture, understanding race and racism, translating the science of early child development, and practicing self-reflection.
- Materials and strategies are used flexibly to fit with school context.
- Outreach is designed to support relationship building from the start of the year and reduce the stigma parents may feel when invited to a parenting program.
- Outreach and participant recruitment are designed to be inclusive. Designated family support staff lead parent outreach, ideally with involvement of school leaders. Pre-K teachers, parents, and other adults important to the child are encouraged to join the parenting program.
- A focus on parent voice is foundational for reaching parents experiencing adversity due to poverty, racism, and discrimination- and immigration-related stress.
ParentCorps program website ParentCorps model overview National Institute of Justice program profile of ParentCorps "Effects of ParentCorps in prekindergarten on child mental health and academic performance: Follow-up of a randomized clinical trial through 8 years of age," JAMA Pediatrics (2016) "Potential return on inestment of a family-centered early childhood intervention: A cost effectiveness analysis," BMC Public Health (2017)