Caregiver Engagement Initiative Research to Practice Brief


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December 20, 2023

In 2017, the Brazelton Touchpoints Center began a comprehensive study of the Caregiver Engagement Initiative (CEI), a project of the William Penn Foundation. This multiyear evaluation was in partnership with five Philadelphia organizations working with a diverse group of families with children aged 0-5 years. The CEI aimed to implement evidence-based parenting curricula in early childhood education (ECE) settings through in-person sessions with these families. The program required the collaboration of ECE organizations and social service agencies, alongside of participation in this evaluation. Over the course of the study, 879 parents from 26 ECE centers and the School District of Philadelphia Pre-K actively took part in parenting programs facilitated by trained professionals, who implemented a parenting curriculum. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations adapted by transitioning to virtual platforms for parenting groups.

Caregiver Engagement Initiative Research to Practice Brief Report cover

This evaluation stands out as the first cross-curricula study that explores the successes and challenges of implementing parenting groups in real-world ECE organization settings. Prior evaluations have typically focused on single parenting curricula and been conducted in controlled research settings. Findings of this evaluation demonstrated that participation in these initiatives was highly beneficial for children, families, ECE organizations, and social service agencies. With new knowledge and understanding of best practices for implementing parenting groups in ECE organizations, the findings of this study can be helpful for ECE and nonprofit leaders seeking to build capacity for family engagement support.

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