Blueprints Program Rating: Model
A family-centered intervention that is delivered as an enhancement to pre-kindergarten programs serving children living in low-income neighborhoods. It helps the important adults in young children’s lives — parents and teachers — build a strong early foundation that gives children living under stressful conditions the greatest opportunity for healthy development.
As a program that promotes positive parent, teacher, and child relationships in order to increase a child’s success at school and at home, funding sources that promote positive mental/behavioral health, parenting education, quality early learning opportunities and school readiness are all potential sources of support for ParentCorps.
Improving the Use of Existing Public Funds
Pre-K and other early childhood education programs that already have a parent engagement and education component can utilize the ParentCorps training and curriculum to improve the effectiveness of their teaching of children and engagement with their parents. State and locally funded Pre-K programs as well as Head Start programs could potentially utilize ParentCorps programming. The new Head Start program performance standards, published in September 2016, provide that: “A program must, at a minimum, offer opportunities for parents to participate in a research-based parenting curriculum that builds on parents’ knowledge and offers parents the opportunity to practice parenting skills to promote children’s learning and development.” This new standard aligns with ParentCorps’ Parenting Program. ParentCorps is highlighted as one of 28 center-based parenting programs included in the Parenting Curricula Review Database available from the Office of Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC). This Database was developed to assist Head Start and Early Head Start programs in choosing a research-based parenting curricula to help them meet Head Start Performance Standards. Of note, ParentCorps is rated as having the highest level of evidence.
Given the strong evidence-base for ParentCorps, there may also be good alignment with any public funding opportunity that specifically targets evidence-based services.
Allocating State or Local General Funds
In addition to local early childhood education funding, state and local mental/behavioral health funding is a key source of support for the ParentCorps program. State and local public health, early intervention and child welfare prevention funds could also be considered. ParentCorps has typically been facilitated by school-based mental health professionals in coordination with early education teachers. Pre-K and other early education programs that do not have sufficient mental health staff to support the program could consider partnerships with local mental health or public health offices where county or city mental health staff could help to facilitate the program in early education settings.
Maximizing Federal Funds
- The federal education funding Title I, which provides financial assistance to local educational agencies and schools with high numbers of children from low-income families, can potentially support any ParentCorps costs, including curricula purchase, training, technology purchases and teacher salaries for school-based programs.
- The Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHSBG) can fund a variety of mental health promotion and intervention activities and is a potential source of support for ParentCorps.
- The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is used by states to support child care subsidies, early childhood education contracts, and quality improvement efforts in early childhood education. CCDBG quality dollars could be used for training and to purchase materials that could be implemented in early childhood education settings.
- Title IV-B, Parts 1 & 2, of the Social Security Act provides fairly flexible formula and discretionary (competitive) funding to state child welfare agencies for child welfare services including prevention and family preservation activities and professional training, and could be used to support ParentCorps for families involved with the child welfare system.
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Block Grant – Overall, states use 17 percent of their TANF funds to help low-income working families afford child care, but states’ TANF spending on child care has been flat or declining for over a decade. Spending varies dramatically by state: 11 states spent more than 30 percent of their TANF funds in this area, while 13 states spent less than 5 percent.
Discretionary Grants: Federal discretionary grants from the Department of Education and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at the US Department of Health and Human Services can be a source of funding.
Foundation Grants and Public-Private Partnerships
Advances in science are driving an increased appreciation for both the risks and promise of early childhood. ParentCorps’ demonstrated ability to build healthy environments and improve outcomes for children facing adversity resonates with public and private funders. Foundations, especially those with a stated interest in parent education, early childhood education, and the well-being of vulnerable children and families, can provide funding for initial training and program materials purchase.
Generating New Revenue
Parent Teacher Associations, business, and local civic associations can also serve as sponsors of fundraising campaigns to support the ParentCorps program.