Impact Evaluation for the Parent Child Plus Program

Executive Summary

Impact Evaluation for the Parent Child Plus Program, Newark Trust for Education

Author(s): Stephen Peck, Ph.D. and Charles Smith, Ph.D.
Publication Date: April 1, 2020
Publisher: QTurn Group
Area: Newark, New Jersey

This Executive Summary was developed to facilitate discussion and decision making. The detailed findings and method are available in the full report, Impact Evaluation for the Parent Child Plus Program, Newark Trust for Education (2020), and the technical appendices available upon request.

The Newark Trust for Education (NTE) Parent Child Plus (PC+) program is an evidence-based early childhood education program for families in the city of Newark, NJ. NTE seeks to evaluate PC+ by conducting analyses of existing data for a cohort of 89 families, assessed 4 times over 46 weeks using observational measures of parenting practices and children’s socio-emotional skills.

The PC+ program is intended to result in “improved child behaviors related to social-emotional development and self-regulation skills” (Organizational Research Services [ORS], 2010, p. 23). Data generated as part of the PC+ program implementation include ratings by home visitors using the inhome observation assessment instruments, Child Behavior Traits (CBT) and Parent and Child Together (PACT), that “were specifically developed to evaluate the social-emotional status of low-income children age two to four and the positive parent-child interaction behaviors of low-income parent-child dyads, respectively”.

The home visit curriculum is delivered in the family home using four major strategies: (a) a strengths-based approach, (b) using parents/caregivers as teachers, (c) focusing on children’s learning and development outcomes, and (d) involving siblings and family members to reinforce the child’s learning experience. The PC+ home visits are made up of the following elements: A program schedule (VISM) for the home visit curriculum that thematically pairs books (in English, Spanish, or Portuguese) and toys together for a family to receive for a given program cycle. A manualized curriculum (VISM Guide) that explains key concepts, related to the books and toys received by the family, for the parent/caregiver to focus on after the home visit. A contract that obligates the parent/caregiver to maintain the predetermined home visit schedule and be present during the home visits. The standard home visit is a half-hour, during which the parent/caregiver and child practice specific positive interactions around the use of the books and toys provided by the PC+ program. A storage bin is provided to the family by PC+ for keeping books and toys organized.

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[for the full report] Peck, S. C., Smith, C. & (2020). Impact Evaluation for the Parent Child Plus Program, Newark Trust for Education. Ypsilanti, MI: QTurn.