What We Do
A wealth of research shows that early childhood education can have profound impacts on children’s lifelong health and well-being. This evidence has fueled the rapid expansion of pre-K, considered a powerful policy lever for Black and brown children facing inequities rooted in structural racism.
Though the expansion of pre-K holds promise, decades of research and practice at the Center for Early Childhood Health & Development highlight that educators often feel unprepared to engage with families, especially families whose culture and lived racial experiences are different than their own. This is an urgent gap as families hold incredible power to shape children’s early learning and development and home-school connection is critical for success.
ParentCorps targets this gap. In close partnership with pre-K programs, we work to build a different pre-K experience — one that centers race and culture, engages parents as partners, and supports children’s social-emotional well-being — to help unlock the full promise of early childhood education.
“I feel very powerful to engage
and encourage my parents.”
is available in
ParentCorps disponible en Español
Group-based experiential training and one-on-one coaching for pre-K school staff
Professional Development is designed to support school staff to form strong, culturally responsive relationships with families and promote children’s social-emotional well-being. School staff engage in authentic dialogue — examining their beliefs, reflecting on the challenges families face, and learning the science of early childhood development — to build capacity to engage with children and families in new ways.
Group-based program for all families as part of the pre-K experience
Parenting Program is designed to support families to promote children’s early learning and development. In a culturally affirming environment, parents connect, share experiences, and explore evidence-based parenting practices they may choose to incorporate at home, in alignment with their values.
Classroom-based social-emotional learning program for pre-K children
Friends School is designed based on the wealth of evidence that young children’s social-emotional learning is a critical foundation for school success and lifelong health. Children learn to communicate their thoughts and feelings, develop a positive sense of self (with a focus on racial and cultural identities and family pride), build healthy relationships — and have fun!
“I feel very powerful to engage and encourage my parents.”
“[My first time observing Parenting Program] I expected a didactic lesson in best practices, but what I saw instead actually moved me to tears. It was clear that parents were viewed as valued partners and that the engagement and community created here would extend far beyond the children’s pre-K year.”
Carly Roberts, Overdeck Family Foundation
Theory of Change
Below, we depict our Theory of Change — the theoretical process by which ParentCorps leads to long term impacts on children’s mental health, physical health, and academic achievement.