In our last post of 2014, we discussed the White House Summit on Early Education and how James Heckman’s brief speech produced a notable a change in the panel discussions that followed. At the time of that post I was aiming to get a copy, dear reader, so I could share his remarks with you accurately and in more detail. The speech is now available, so I think we are starting 2015 right by delving into Heckman's remarkable address.
KIPS Blog: Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research
If something is important, a professional will measure it. A doctor uses a thermometer. A carpenter uses a tape measure. A chef uses a scale. The importance of parenting cannot be overstated. "Young children experience their world as an environment of relationships, and these relationships affect virtually all aspects of their development – intellectual, social, emotional, physical, behavioral, and moral" (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2004).There are tangible long-term benefits to effective parenting that are realized throughout childhood and into adulthood. In studies compiled by the US Office of Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC), supportive and involved parenting has been linked with success in school and college enrollment. Additionally, a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures found children with difficult home lives are less likely to thrive or succeed in school, and more likely to drop out and experience homelessness. Adequate parental support is crucial to their future, and family service professionals are fighting an uphill battle to stop these at-risk youths from falling through the cracks of society. By the time many at-risk youths arrive at social service offices, it is often too late to make a meaningful impact on a life that could have been significantly improved through earlier intervention. I think James Heckman a Nobel Prize Winner in economics summed it up best in his recent book, Giving Kids a Fair Chance (A Strategy that Works)
Early Head Start: Relationships at the Core of School Readiness
Since Head Start's beginning in 1965, it has aimed to improve school readiness of children from low-income families and focused on family engagement and comprehensive services. Using an ecological theory of child development, Head Start’s guiding principles emphasize the development of the “whole child” and support of families and communities to produce optimal developmenti of children. In 1994, Early Head Start (EHS) was authorized to expand services to serve pregnant women and children from birth to 3 years. This deepened the interest in strengthening early parent-child relationships that begin before birth and contribute to children’s long-term development. (For more details, read Advisory Committee on Head Start Research and Evaluation).
Because the best research on parenting guided the design of the Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale (KIPS), it aligns with the best parenting curricula. After all, we drink from the same rich well of research. In the KIPS Library, Crosswalks are currently available between the KIPS parenting assessment tool and three widely used parenting curricula: Growing Great Kids, Partners in Parenting Education and the Born to Learn Curriculum. Each crosswalk serves as a map between the KIPS parenting assessment results and specific parts of the curriculum that address the improvement of the particular parenting behavior of interest. The Parents as Teachers Born to Learn Curriculum has recently been revised, and the new curriculum is called the Foundational Curriculum. This article explores the relationship of KIPS to the Foundational Curriculum.
Momentum has gathered over the last decade toward collecting evidence to prove outcomes in the early childhood field. Funders and taxpayers want proof that the services they pay for have the intended outcome. The fairest way to evaluate a program is to see if it has met its intended goals. Most programs with the goal of healthy child development and well-being, school readiness or preventing child abuse and neglect include promoting nurturing parenting among their goals, because "Young children experience their world as an environment of relationships, and these relationships affect virtually all aspects of their development – intellectual, social, emotional, physical, behavioral, and moral" (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2004).
In two previous KIPS Cradle posts we discussed identifying strengths and supporting a parent in selecting an improvement goal. Now let’s turn to collaborating with a parent to work on a goal. There are six principles of effective feedback we will consider:
Why the KIPS Cradle?
Our May survey of KIPS users, reported in the August KIPS TIPS issue, revealed interest in a blog about KIPS use. So due to popular demand, here is the first post to the KIPS Cradle.