Boston Children’s Hospital’s Brazelton Touchpoints Center announces expansion of Office of Head Start and Office of Child Care partnership

National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement will impact the lives of 13 million infants and young children per year

The Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start, in partnership with the Office of Child Care, has announced the award of $6,500,000 per year for up to five years to the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, to continue to operate a National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement (NCPFCE). After a highly competitive process and having successfully concluded its first five years of this work, Brazelton Touchpoints Center was again chosen to lead implementation of the NCPFCE, now with double the funding and even broader impact. Together with a consortium of partners-Child Trends, Child Care Aware of America and Center for the Study of Social Policy-and in service of the early care and education field and the families it serves, the NCPFCE will leverage family and community strengths to ensure children’s school readiness and success, particularly those living in poverty.

“We are deeply grateful for the extraordinary privilege of partnering with the families of 13 million children every year for the next five years to promote child health, development and school readiness at the national level,” says Joshua D. Sparrow, MD, Principal Investigator and Director of the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital.

The NCPFCE will develop and manage resources and provide training and technical assistance to support family well-being, effective family and community engagement, and children’s school readiness, including transitions to kindergarten. The work of the NCPFCE will help programs support pregnant women and families with children ages birth to five years old. The work will address integrated and systemic approaches to family engagement, relationship building practices with families, consumer education, family leadership, family financial stability, and individualized support for families facing adversity. NCPFCE creates tools that support positive family and child outcomes, that are culturally and linguistically relevant and that strengthen and solidify parents’ role in the early years, by empowering them for ongoing advocacy for quality education and healthcare.

“We are at a critical time in the Brazelton Touchpoints Center’s history,” adds its founder T. Berry Brazelton, MD, “as we near our 20th anniversary having successfully established the first National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement. Now more than ever before we must rise to the occasion and marshal all resources to support parents, families and entire communities in supporting children’s early learning and healthy development – right from the start.”

This partnership builds upon the Brazelton Touchpoints Center’s successful earlier work leading implementation of the NCPFCE from 2010 to 2015. The Office of Head Start and NCPFCE developed the Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework, a research-based approach to supporting systemic, integrated, and comprehensive parent, family and community engagement across an entire Head Start/Early Head Start organization. One of six new national centers awarded by ACF, the NCPFCE is part of a new cross-sector Early Childhood T/TA System to build the capacity in excellence of early childhood services.

Through this expanded partnership, NCPFCE will build upon Head Start’s (HS) historic commitment to parents as their child’s first teachers, and uplift the strengths that Child Care can bring to partnerships with families that advance their efforts to overcome poverty, adversity, and racial and other inequities to secure a better future for their children. NCPFCE will deepen the foundation of knowledge and exemplary practice for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Early Childhood T/TA System.

This cooperative agreement represents one of the largest federal awards to Boston Children’s Hospital.

Read the Announcements from ACF:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/blog/2015/10/launching-a-federal-training-and-technical-assistance-system

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/interagency-projects/ece-technical-assistance

About The Brazelton Touchpoints Center

The Brazelton Touchpoints Center was founded in 1996 by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. and colleagues and is based in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. The vision of the Brazelton Touchpoints Center is that all children grow up to be adults who can cope with adversity, strengthen their communities, constructively participate in civic life, steward our planet’s resources, and nurture the next generation to be prepared to do the same. Together with families, providers and communities, the Brazelton Touchpoints Center develops and applies knowledge of early childhood development to practice and policy through professional and organizational development, evaluation, advocacy and awareness and serving as a resource for proven practices. The Brazelton Touchpoints Center is also home to the Office of Head Start National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement. Learn more at www.brazeltontouchpoints.org.

About Child Trends

Child Trends is the nation’s leading nonprofit research organization focused exclusively on improving the lives and prospects of children, youth, and their families. For 36 years, decision makers have relied on our rigorous research, unbiased analyses, and clear communications to improve public policies and interventions that serve children and families. We have more than 120 staff in three offices and multiple locations around the country, including our headquarters in Bethesda, Md. www.childtrends.org

About Child Care Aware of America

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) is the nation’s leading voice for child care whose mission is to advance a child care system that effectively serves all children and families and represents hundreds of state and local Child Care Resource and Referrals Agencies that are on the front lines of designing and implementing innovative family and community engagement initiatives around the nation, including consumer education. CCAoA builds awareness around the continuing need for affordable child care through research and information on child care costs and quality standards. CCAoA operates Child Care Aware, which provides information, referrals, tools and resources to families seeking child care, and connects providers with resources and training to improve the quality of care they offer and is a partner on the National Center on Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships (EHS CCP).http://childcareaware.org/

About the Center for the Study of Social Policy

The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) is a national organization committed to improving outcomes for children and families, especially those most often left behind. By shaping policy, reforming public systems and strengthening the capacity of communities, CSSP works to make sure that children can learn, develop and thrive with the support of strong families, in safe and healthy communities. CSSP’s work on behalf of very young children and their families has included leadership of the national Strengthening Families initiative, as well as coordination of the Early Childhood – Learning and Innovation Network for Communities (EC-LINC), through which local leaders develop comprehensive early childhood systems. Creating opportunity, achieving equity and producing results are central to all of CSSP’s work. http://www.cssp.org/