The Parent-Child Home Program: A Research-Proven Early Childhood Literacy and School Readiness Program
What is The Parent-Child Home Program?
The Parent-Child Home Program is a proven, non-profit school readiness and early literacy program for families challenged by poverty, low levels of education, language barriers and other obstacles to educational success.
How did The Parent-Child Home Program get started?
In the early 1960s, Dr. Phyllis Levenstein (1918-2005), a clinical psychologist, took on a considerable challenge. She was asked to develop a program for families that would offset rising high school dropout rates. After extensive research, she concluded that the most effective intervention would reach out to children before they entered school. In fact, she discovered that drop-out prevention must begin with parents and the home environment. Focusing on the fact that early childhood was a period of rapid brain development and the fact that parents are responsible for a significant amount of the stimuli young children are exposed to during these formative years, Dr. Levenstein developed the model for The Parent-Child Home Program (originally called The Mother-Child Home Program). The Program model focused on promoting school readiness and academic success by strengthening parent-child verbal interaction and reading and play activities in the home.
How does The Program work?
Participating families take part in an intensive, early intervention home visiting program where a highly trained home visitor demonstrates reading, conversation and play activities that build language and literacy skills. The books and toys that the home visitor uses during a demonstration then become gifts to the family so that the parent can continue to work with the child between home visits.
What are some of the key elements of The Parent-Child home program?
- The meetings take place in the home except where there are exceptional circumstances.
- It is voluntary.
- The books and toys that are used in the activities become gifts to the family.
- There is no direct teaching or mandatory tasks, there is no homework or required reading.
- The Program respects privacy and cultural differences.
- The Program emphasizes the parent’s role as the child’s first teacher.
- All services are provided to the family free of charge.
Reprinted with the permission of the Parent-Child Home Program, Inc.
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