The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ) just released an exciting research review. Decades of research prove that children begin learning from the first day of their lives. Thus, parents are the prime drivers of early development, which lays the foundation for lifelong learning. As we’ve argued in previous blogs (1, 2, 3, 4), it stands to reason that supporting parents to nurture their children’s early experiences will enhance children’s readiness for school and social skills, decrease children’s behavior problems, and strengthen academic success. A new research report from RWJ asks “What Works” under the umbrella of parent engagement. As you can see from the report title,Parent Engagement Practices Improve Outcomes for Preschool Children, it focuses on the ultimate goal of improving children’s outcomes.Read More
KIPS Blog: Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research
If you follow the KIPS Blogs, you know that we are big fans of James Heckman (1, 2), from the University of Chicago Center for the Economics of Human Development, who is a tireless advocate for investing in early intervention to gain greater returns for children, families, and communities.
In a previous blog, we took a look at his small book entitled Giving Kids a Fair Chance (A Strategy that Works). As a Nobel Prize winning economist, Heckman’s writing is often highly technical. However, he wrote this powerful little book in plain language to get his message out to the public. In Giving Kids a Fair Chance, Heckman makes 3 powerful points. For his website, he has distilled these 3 points into what is known as the Heckman Equation: invest + develop + sustain = gain. Heckman estimated a sevenfold return on quality investments in the preschool years for three and four-year-olds. There is no other known public investment that can make this claim.
Or is there?
Are you afraid of getting rejection letters after spending your evenings and weekends writing funding proposals? Speak to what funders are seeking, evidence-based models and measures that show how children and families grow from your services. Similarly, board members want to know that your parenting services make a difference in families lives. In this week’s blog we’ll offer some guidance to increase the chance of your parenting services proposals being funded.
I’m excited to share a new 2014 report, titled Measuring What Matters: A Guide for Children’s Centres. The report was developed in the United Kingdom by Jill Roberts and Angela Donkin, with Demetris Pillas, University College London Institute for Health Equity (IHE). This report lays out a framework of child and parent outcomes for Children’s Centres and recommends common measures for assessing these outcomes. The recommendations were developed from a series of steps including a review of the research literature, expert advisory panel input, field visits, and weighing the existing evidence. The guiding principle for the outcomes framework was: “children’s centres need to be focusing on and measuring what is important, not just what can be easily measured” (Measuring What Matters: A Guide for Children’s Centres, page 10).