ParentCorps is a culturally-informed intervention that fosters healthy development and school success among children ages 3-6 in low-income communities. It was developed by the faculty of the Center for Early Childhood Health & Development (CEHD) at the NYU Child Study Center. ParentCorps is implemented in educational settings as an after-school series for parents and children. TeacherCorps is a companion program of professional development that helps educators support children's skill development and fully engage parents as partners.
ParentCorps has been rigorously evaluated in two studies in New York City, and has been shown to promote positive behavior supports in home and classroom settings and improve health and educational outcomes among high-need children and families. This commitment will take advantage of the expertise and skills gained in these studies and initial efforts to serve entire populations of children in communities throughout NYC in partnership with policy makers and philanthropists.
CEHD's commitment will move the proven science to practice in New York City. In partnership with the NYS Office of Mental Health, the NYS Department of Health, the NYS Early Childhood Advisory Council, the NYS Council for Children and Families and the NYC Department of Education Office of Early Childhood Education, this commitment will align ParentCorps with existing NYS and NYC initiatives in health and education. It will carry out a demonstration within six schools with universal pre-kindergarten programs in the Bronx as part of the NYS Promise Zone initiative.
CEHD will be responsible for 1) the partnership to align ParentCorps with NYC and NYS initiatives; 2) providing TeacherCorps for early childhood educators and building capacity for ParentCorps implementation and sustainability within these six schools; 3) evaluating the process of implementation; and 4) making recommendations for next steps in terms of shared responsibility for public investment.
Partnership for Alignment: (September 2012 - August 2014): CEHD will convene a series of meetings with stakeholders including NYS policy makers, NYC DOE partners, Bronx Promise Zone partners, and principals and leadership of the 6 partner schools in the Bronx. First meeting scheduled for October 2012. An MOU with Promise Zone and school partners has been signed for January 2013.
TeacherCorps in 6 schools (January 2013 - June 2014): CEHD will provide TeacherCorps professional development services (January - June 2013); Training and preparation for ParentCorps family groups (September 2013 - October 2013) and Classroom Consultation (October 2013 - June 2014)
ParentCorps in 6 schools (October 2013 - May 2014): CEHD will oversee implementation of ParentCorps groups in 6 schools (14-session weekly series).
Evaluation (September 2012 - July 2014): CEHD will develop and implement a clinical information system to collect data on the implementation process.
Policy Brief (January 2013 - August 2014): CEHD will develop a policy brief describing alignment with NYS initiatives, including long-term health and economic projections to guide strategic planning for ParentCorps growth in New York State.
Racial and ethnic minority children living in disadvantaged, urban communities bear a disproportionate burden of costly public health problems. Disparities in health and development are evident early in childhood and increase over time, resulting in unacceptably high rates of high school dropout, obesity and delinquency.
Advances in neuroscience, developmental psychology, and prevention science provide compelling evidence that the foundation for healthy development is established in early childhood. Interactions between biological processes and home and early care environments impact learning, behavior, and health across the lifespan. The stress of urban poverty constrains caregivers' ability to provide positive behavior supports and jeopardizes the development of social, emotional, and self-regulatory skills. Collectively, these skills impact executive functioning (such as working memory, the ability to shift attention or resist distraction) and are now recognized as core components of 'readiness' for school and a necessary foundation for achievement and well-being.
Rigorous randomized controlled trials demonstrate that strengthening parenting resources and early care environments can ameliorate the potentially devastating impact of poverty and stress on child health and development, especially for children who are at highest risk for long-term problems. Science calls for investing in families early in children's lives.
The NYU Child Study Center is seeking partners for implementation, dissemination, and financial resources.