Strong evidence of ParentCorps’ impact comes from two randomized controlled trials with more than 1,200 children in historically disinvested neighborhoods, where structural racism has led to large shares of children and families of color living in poverty, in NYC.
ParentCorps' full model has meaningful and sustained impacts on children's academic achievement, mental health and physical health, one of very few early childhood programs with demonstrated impact on all three critical areas of development. In elementary school, children showed a 24% lower risk of reading below grade level; were 50% less likely to develop mental health problems; and were 50% less likely to be obese, through second grade. In middle school, children were 44% less likely to be chronically absent (e.g. more than 10% of days in the school year), through sixth grade.
In addition, ParentCorps has meaningful impacts on parenting and teacher practices, strengthening teachers and parents' capacities to create safe, responsive and predictable environments both in the classroom and at home. Parents showed greater involvement in their children’s learning, increased parenting knowledge, and increased use of evidence-based practices (such as positive reinforcement), while teachers demonstrated more responsive teacher-student interactions and effective behavior management in the classroom.
In a cost-effectiveness analysis, ParentCorps was found to have a 4:1 return on investment over and above the well-documented benefits of pre-K.
“ParentCorps is more than just professional development for staff or another parent meeting for parents. It’s an experience that gives you space to reflect on your past and how it has shaped your present. It builds community and connection as well as strengthens relationships amongst staff and families."
Kecia Rorie, Starfish Family Services
Scaleable in Head Start
4 to 1
Several government and nonprofit organizations endorse ParentCorps as an evidence-based early childhood intervention.
Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, considered the most rigorous registry of evidence-based positive youth development programs, awarded ParentCorps the highest rating for evidence, with suggestions about using Head Start funding for financing implementation.
The National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, includes ParentCorps in its Compendium of Parenting Interventions, a resource that helps schools, early childhood programs, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders understand the evidence behind parenting interventions for families of young children.
The Parenting Curricula Review Database, published by the Office of Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, lists ParentCorps as one of 28 highlighted center-based parenting curricula. ParentCorps meets the highest level of evidence in this database designed to assist Head Start and Early Head Start programs to choose a research-based parenting curricula to meet Head Start program performance standards.
Crisis response, racial equity capacity building: Lessons from one research-practice partnership
Understanding ParentCorps’ essential elements for building adult capacity to support young children’s health and development
Scaling early childhood evidence-based interventions through RPPS
Potential return on investment of a family-centered early childhood intervention: a cost-effectiveness analysis.
Engaging parents in preventive interventions for young children: working with cultural diversity within low-income, urban neighborhoods.
Transportability of an evidence-based early childhood intervention in a low-income African country: Results of a cluster randomized controlled study.
Effects of ParentCorps in prekindergarten on child mental health and academic performance: Follow-up of a randomized clinical trial through 8 years of age.
A population-level approach to promoting healthy child development and school success in low-income, urban neighborhoods: impact on parenting and child conduct problems.