The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP)

Scientific Rating:
3
Promising Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
Medium
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) has been rated by the CEBC in the area of: Home Visiting Programs for Child Well-Being.

Target Population: Two and three-year-olds who face multiple obstacles to educational and economic success. These risk factors include, living in poverty, being a single or teen-age parent, low parental education status, illiteracy/limited literacy, and families who are challenged by language barriers (e.g., immigrant families).

For children/adolescents ages: 2 – 3

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 2 – 3

Brief Description

The PCHP, an early childhood program, promotes parent-child interaction and positive parenting to enhance children’s cognitive and social-emotional development. The program strives to prepare children for academic success and strengthen families through intensive home visiting. Twice weekly home visits are designed to stimulate the parent-child verbal interaction, reading, and educational play critical to early childhood brain development. Each week the home visitors bring a new book or educational toy that remains with the families permanently. Using the book or toy, home visitors model for parents and children reading, conversation, and play activities that stimulate quality verbal interaction and age-appropriate developmental expectations.

Program Goals:

The goals of The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) are:

  • Support positive parent-child interaction
  • Children’s healthy social-emotional development
  • Foster pre-literacy skills essential for school readiness

The outcomes of PCHP are:

  • Increase quality and quantity of parent-child verbal interaction
  • Increase pro-social behavior in the child
  • Strengthen families
  • Increase language and pre-literacy skills

Essential Components

The essential components of The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) include:

  • Program Services:
    • Provide parent-child dyads with home visits
    • Provide parent-child dyads with books and toys
    • Involve parent-child dyads in reading and play activities
    • Link families to community services
  • Four major components define the Parent-Child Home Program (PHCP) curriculum. PCHP’s curriculum is conveyed by the home visitor (HV) to the parent or primary caregiver during the home visit.
    • Verbal Interaction Techniques: Focuses on nurturing the child’s intellectual growth through conversation with the parent or primary caregiver. It promotes parent-child verbal interaction around the books and toys. The verbal interaction techniques are made more tangible to participants and to the HV through a guide sheet that accompanies each book and toy. Each guide sheet is in itself a curriculum since it is a one-page summary of the intellectually stimulating components of the program’s hidden curriculum. It is a hidden curriculum because the HV does not directly teach parents, but instead models for them reading, conversation, and play activities. The HV receives a guide sheet for each week’s new book or toy and distributes copies of the same guide sheet to the program participants.
    • Positive Parenting Behavior: Focuses on twenty items of positive parenting behavior, modeled by the HV throughout the two years of home visits. Those items include: responding verbally to the child’s verbal or nonverbal requests for attention; verbalizing affection toward the child; and clearly verbalizing child expectations.
    • Social Emotional Development: Focuses on helping children develop not only their language and cognitive skills, but also their social relationships as they pertain toward their inner selves and toward the world of work, play, and ideas. Thus, this program goal, achievable mainly through the practice of positive parenting, is to foster children’s social emotional competence.
    • Curriculum Materials (Books and Toys): For each program year, the twelve books and eleven toys distributed to the families are of good quality – sturdy, attractive, available at most toy and bookstores and, most importantly, cognitively stimulating at a variety of levels. As noted earlier, the books and toys are gifts for the family and they provide a focus for both the child and parent, sparking verbal interaction between them.
  • Home Visitors: HVs are primarily paid paraprofessionals, most of whom are former program parent-participants and/or community residents. All HVs are trained together in an initial sixteen-hour training workshop and in weekly HVs supervisory meetings throughout the Program year. They are trained not to be social workers or teachers, but to focus on modeling for parents how to utilize the three parts of the curriculum while playing and talking with their children. The HVs meet weekly during each Program year with the coordinator. They learn the verbal interaction techniques for each new book or toy, by role-playing and reviewing the guide sheets. They also get support and counsel for the issues they encounter in home visits and which they note in their home session records.
  • Supervision (Coordinators): The Program Coordinator is responsible for the effective implementation of the PCHP replication site. The Coordinator is typically a professional in a field closely aligned with the program, such as, early childhood or parenting education, nursing, psychology or social work. The Coordinator must be knowledgeable and caring about interpersonal behavior, values, and attitudes in families. Essentially the job of the Coordinator is to pull together the three other elements of the Program – HVs, curriculum materials, and curriculum – to form a smoothly working and effective whole.

Child/Adolescent Services

The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Family living in poverty, having a single or teen-age parent, low parental education status, parental illiteracy/limited literacy, and in a family who is challenged by language barriers (e.g., immigrant families)

Parent/Caregiver Services

The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Lack of quality verbal and non-verbal interaction between parent and child, lack of developmentally appropriate parental expectations, and lack of parental involvement

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home

Homework

This program does not include a homework component.

Languages

The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) has materials available in a language other than English:

Spanish

For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Site Coordinator (professional staff person who is trained to oversee the replication site, must have one Coordinator per 50-60 families)
  • Home Visitors (paraprofessional staff who are trained to do home visits, can provide visits to 1 to 16 families)
  • Computer with internet access (to enable the site to utilize the Management Information System)
  • Office space/telephone for Coordinator
  • Locked storage space for books and toys
  • Private meeting space for weekly staff meetings of Coordinator and Home Visitors
  • New books and toys for each family (12 books and 11 toys per family for each minimum 23 week per year program)

Minimum Provider Qualifications

Program Coordinators are responsible for the effective implementation of the replication site. The Coordinator is typically a professional in a field closely aligned with the Program, such as, early childhood or parenting education, nursing, psychology or social work. The Coordinator must be knowledgeable and caring about interpersonal behavior, values, and attitudes in families. Essentially the job of the Coordinator is to pull together the three other elements of the Program – Home Visitors, curriculum materials and curriculum – to form a smoothly working and effective whole.

Home Visitors (HVs) are primarily paid "paraprofessionals," most of whom are former program parent-participants and/or community residents. All HVs are trained together in an initial sixteen-hour training workshop and in weekly HVs supervisory meetings throughout the Program year. They are trained not to be social workers or teachers, but to focus on modeling for parents how to utilize the three parts of the curriculum while playing and talking with their children. The HVs meet weekly during each Program year with the Coordinator. They learn the Verbal Interaction Techniques for each new book or toy, by role-playing and reviewing the Guide Sheets. They also get support and counsel for the issues they encounter in home visits and which they note in their Home Session Records.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
  • Michele Morrison, Training and Program Support Director
    phone: (516) 883-7480
Training is obtained:

Training institutes held at the national center several times a year; regional trainings are offered if there is a cluster of sites being opened in a region

Number of days/hours:

4 days, 7-8 hours/day (the first three days are provided before the agency begins to replicate the program; the fourth day is provided 3-6 months after an agency begins to replicate the model)

Implementation Information

Since The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) is rated on the Scientific Rating Scale, information was requested from the program representative on available pre-implementation assessments, implementation tools, and/or fidelity measures.

Show implementation information...

Pre-Implementation Materials

The program representative did not provide information about pre-implementation materials.

Formal Support for Implementation

The program representative did not provide information about formal support for implementation of The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP).

Fidelity Measures

The program representative did not provide information about fidelity measures of The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP).

Implementation Guides or Manuals

The program representative did not provide information about implementation guides or manuals for The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP).

Research on How to Implement the Program

The program representative did not provide information about research conducted on how to implement The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP).

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program is rated a "3 - Promising Research Evidence" on the Scientific Rating Scale based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The practice must have at least one study utilizing some form of control (e.g., untreated group, placebo group, matched wait list study) establishing the practice's benefit over the placebo, or found it to be comparable to or better than an appropriate comparison practice. Please see the Scientific Rating Scale for more information.

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Show relevant research...

Madden, J., O’Hara, J., & Levenstein, P. (1984). Home again: Effects of the Mother Child Home Program on mother and child. Child Development, 55, 636-647.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 166

Population:

  • Age — 21-33 months
  • Race/Ethnicity — 88% African American
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were referred by public and private agencies, individuals and identified from school census lists for risk factors.

Location/Institution: New York City

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study attempted to establish the effectiveness of Mother-Child Home Program (MHCP) [now called The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP)]. Families were randomly assigned to the control group or to a comparison group. Three cohorts were compared to no-treatment controls, while the fourth was compared to a condition where materials were supplied but not home visits. Measures utilized include the Cattell Developmental and Intelligence Scale, Child Behavior Traits Measure, the Stanford Binet Intelligence Test, the Reading and Arithmetic Scales of the Wide Range Achievement Test, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), and the Maternal Interactive Behavior Record. Results indicate that short-term MCHP effects included higher levels of desirable behaviors in maternal interactions and, in one cohort, higher scores on the Stanford Binet test and the program-developed achievement test. There was no effect on IQ when the materials-only group was compared to the MCHP group. There were no effects in any cohort at 3-year follow-up, although IQ levels were near national norms in all groups. Limitations include no significant differences were found between the control group and the comparison group, limited generalizability due to ethnicity, and the increased availability of preschool groups may have diluted program effects.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 3 years.

Scarr, S., & McCartney, K. (1988). Far from home: An experimental evaluation of the Mother-Child Home Program in Bermuda. Child Development, 59, 531-543.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 125 families

Population:

  • Age — 2 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 100% Bermudian
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were volunteers recruited through birth records and advertising.

Location/Institution: Bermuda

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study examined the effectiveness of the Mother-Child Home Program (MCHP) [now called The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP)]. Two-thirds of the 125 families with 24-month-olds in Bermuda were randomly assigned to the MCHP and one-third to the control group. Measures utilized include the Stanford Binet Test of Intelligence, the Bayley Scale of Mental Development, the Infant Behavior Record, and the Cain-Levine Social Competency Scale. Results indicate that only two child outcomes were significant at the follow-up, MCHP children performed better at a designated sorting task and were rating higher on communication skills by their mothers. Limitations include children possibility being familiar with the intervention.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 2 years.

Levenstein, P., Levenstein, S., Shiminski, J. A., & Stolzberg, J. E. (1998). Long-term impact of a verbal interaction program for at-risk toddlers: An exploratory study of high school outcomes in a replication of the Mother-Child Home Program. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 19(2), 267-285.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 123 young adults

Population:

  • Age — 17-24 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were families of students attending Title One schools.

Location/Institution: Pittsfield, MA

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study examined the effectiveness of the Mother-Child Home Program (MCHP) [now called The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP)]. Young adults who had been in five yearly cohorts of at-risk toddlers eligible for a replication of the MCHP, were studied 16 to 20 years later for their high school performance. Measures utilized include the Child’s Behavior Traits, Parent and Child Together, and Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT). Results indicate subjects who had completed the Pittsfield Parent-Child Home Program, a MCHP program replication, as toddlers were significantly less likely than randomized controls to drop out of school and more likely to have graduated. On an intention-to-treat basis, 76.9% of all subjects who enrolled in the program and 53.9% of controls graduated from high school. The dropout rate of program enrollees was lower than the mean for all Pittsfield students, while program completers matched the national graduation rate for middle-income students. Limitations include high attrition rate, the small number of controls, the failure of many differences to reach statistical significance, and the dearth of demographic and pre-graduation scholastic data on the study subjects.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 16-20 years.

Levenstein, P., Levenstein, S., & Oliver, D. (2002). First grade school readiness of former child participants in a South Carolina replication of the Parent-Child Home Program. Applied Developmental Psychology, 23, 331-353.

Type of Study: Posttest only - comparison to population data
Number of Participants: 84

Population:

  • Age — 1st Grade (approximately 5-6 years)
  • Race/Ethnicity — 89.3% African American and 10.7% European American
  • Gender — 45 Male and 39 Female
  • Status — Participants were referred to program for risk factors.

Location/Institution: South Carolina

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study examined the effectiveness of The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP), by utilizing their school readiness test scores in first grade. This study compares first grade school readiness of children who received PCHP to scores for children in the state as a whole. Children had been referred into the program by social welfare workers or teachers of older siblings based on high risk factors including school learning problems in siblings, failure of parents to attend conferences, or physically visible deprivation. School readiness was based on scores on the Cognitive Skills Assessment Battery (CSAB), administered to all first graders in South Carolina. This test measures levels of 12 objectives, including fine and gross motor skills, memory, communications skills, and comparison and classification skills. Comparison of passing rates was done for both the PCHP group as a whole and with a subgroup of children who had been referred for severe developmental delays (SDD) removed. Among children eligible for free lunches, a significantly higher percentage of the non-SDD PCHP group passed the CSAB than did children statewide. A higher percentage of African American children in the non-SDD PCHP also passed compared to those not receiving the program. Limitations include nonrandomization of participants, limited generalizability due to ethnicity of participants being predominately African-American, and small sample size.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 3 years.

Allen, L., Sethi, A., & Astuto, J. (2007). An evaluation of a toddlerhood home visiting program at kindergarten age. NHSA Dialog, 10(1), 36-57.

Type of Study: Nonrandomized comparison group
Number of Participants: 116

Population:

  • Age — Kindergarten (approximately 4-6 years)
  • Race/Ethnicity — Intervention: 4.8% Caucasian, 9.5 % African American, 71.4% Latino, and 14.3 % Other; Comparison Group: 26.5% Caucasian, 28.6% African American, 32.7% Latino, and 12.2% Other
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants resided in areas that are increasingly diverse and low-income.

Location/Institution: Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study evaluated whether graduates of The Parent Child Home Program (PCHP) were performing similarly to their community peers. They were compared to children who had not participated in PCHP as a toddler but were in the same Kindergarten classrooms. Measures include the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), the Test of Early Reading Ability (TERA), the Academic Rating Scale, the Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), the Kochanska Inhibitory Control Battery, the Social Skills Rating Scale, and the Family Involvement Questionnaire, with supplemental questions regarding parental support for children’s learning. Results indicate that although the PCHP children went into the program at much higher risk of being unprepared for school, when assessed in kindergarten they showed no differences from the comparison group on social emotional skills or early literacy skills. However, some differences were noted on two standardized tests of verbal and literacy skill, which may be accounted for by the higher number of Latino children in the intervention group. Parents in the intervention group did not differ from the comparison group on likelihood to meet with teachers. However, they were less likely to volunteer at school and to provide home-based activities for children’s learning. Limitations include nonrandomization of participant and small sample size.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 2-3 years.

Gfellner, B. M., McLaren, L., & Metcalfe, A. (2008). The Parent-Child Home Program in Western Manitoba: A 20-year evaluation. Child Welfare, 87(5), 49-67.

Type of Study: One group pretest-posttest design
Number of Participants: 185

Population:

  • Age — 18-43 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 58% Caucasian, 33% Aboriginal, 1% Asian, and 8% Not specified
  • Gender — 100% Females
  • Status — Participants were mothers recruited between 1984 and 2005 from community settings and child welfare.

Location/Institution: Western Manitoba, Canada

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study is an evaluation of The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) of Western Manitoba. The objectives of this study were (a) to establish the profile of PCHP participants and (b) to assess performance outcomes over the course of the program by use of standardized test scores. Measures utilized include the Child Behavioral Traits (CBT) Scale, Parent-Child Together (PACT) Inventory, and the Home Session Behavior Scale. Results indicated progressive increases in the quality of the home environment in terms of both parent’s and child’s behavior, child behaviors conducive to learning, and the quality of parent-child interaction over the course of the program. Limitations include the nonrandomization of participants, lack of control group or comparison group, and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

References

Allen, L., & Sethi, A. (2004). Bridging the gap between poor and  privileged; how the Parent-Child Home Program uses books and toys to help poor toddlers succeed in kindergarten and beyond. America Educator, 28(2), 34-56.

Kamerman, S. B., & Kahn, A. J. (1995). Starting right. New York: Oxford University Press.

McGonigel, M. (2005). Replication in Practice: Lessons from five lead agencies. Zero to Three, 25(5), 9-16.

Contact Information

Name: Cesar Zuniga, MA
Agency/Affiliation: The Parent-Child Home Program, Inc.
Website: www.parent-child.org
Email:
Phone: (516) 883-7480
Fax: (516) 883-7481

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: February 2015

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: July 2015

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2008