Evidence Base for Child Outcomes
Evidence from research demonstrates that the curriculum has been associated with positive child outcomes. The curriculum has been implemented and directly studied in early childhood home visiting programs, and the research showed significant, positive effects on child outcomes. Evidence of effectiveness has been obtained in rigorous research studies, such as randomized controlled trials or regression discontinuity designs. Research studies on the curriculum have optimally included multiple, diverse groups of children and families.
Partners for a Healthy BabyFull Review & Ratings
At the time of this review, no research studies that evaluate the curriculum's effect on child outcomes have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Although one program evaluation mentioned this curriculum, the study also mentioned the use of other home visiting curricula (Kirkland & Mitchell-Herzfeld, 2012). Outcomes from this evaluation are omitted in this review because the effects were not clearly linked to use of Partners for a Healthy Baby. Some evidence indicates that use of this curriculum was associated with a reduction in rates of low birth weight (e.g., Lee et al., 2009) and maternal depression (DuMont et al., 2008). However, more rigorous research is needed in order to establish evidence for positive effects of the Partners for a Healthy Baby curriculum on child outcomes.
For more information on Partners for a Healthy Baby as a parenting curriculum, see the Home-Based Parenting Curriculum Database.
DuMont, K., Rodriguez, M., Mitchell-Herzfeld, S., Walden, N., Kirkland, K., Greene, R., & Lee, E. (2008). Effects of Healthy Families New York on maternal behaviors: Observational assessments of positive and negative parenting. Rensselaer, NY: New York State Office of Children and Family Services.
Kirkland, K., & Mitchell-Herzfeld, S. (2012). Final report: Evaluating the effectiveness of home visiting services in promoting children's adjustment in school. Washington, DC: Pew Center on the States.
Lee, E., Mitchell-Herzfeld, S., Lowenfels, A., Green, R., Dorabawila, V., & DuMont, K. (2009). Reducing low birth weight through home visitation: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 36(2), 154–160.
Baby TALKFull Review & Ratings
At the time of this review, there are no available published research studies on Baby TALK. Randomized controlled trials funded by the publisher suggest that children of families who participated in Baby TALK had more growth in their language development than children whose families did not participate. In addition, these evaluations found that participating in Baby TALK was associated with some positive parent outcomes. These studies have not yet been published in peer-reviewed journals and, therefore, are not included in the rating. One of the studies, however, is under review by a professional journal. More research is needed to establish evidence for positive effects of Baby TALK on children's learning outcomes.
Parents as Teachers Foundational Curriculum: Prenatal to 3Full Review & Ratings
Parents as Teachers Foundational Curriculum: Prenatal to 3 (Parents as Teachers) has been evaluated in many studies since it began in 1984; and over the years, the curriculum has been revised several times. This review presents evidence for the current version of the Parents as Teachers curriculum, which was introduced in 2010. The curriculum has been investigated as part of the Zurich Equity Prevention Project with Parents' Participation and Integration (ZEPPELIN) intervention study (Neuhauser, Ramseier, Shaub, Burkhardt, & Lanfranchi, 2018) and as part of an evaluation of the Parents Possible home visiting program used with families of preschoolers (Lopez & Bernstein, 2016). Studies of prior versions of the curriculum (e.g., Born to Learn) also show evidence for positive child outcomes (e.g., Drotar, Robinson, Jeavons, & Lester Kirchner, 2009; Zigler, Pfannenstiel, & Seitz, 2008), but they are not included in this review because the current curriculum is a substantial update from prior versions.
Other studies presented by the publisher have found positive child outcomes for children whose families participated in Parents as Teachers (e.g., Parents as Teachers, 2016). These studies are not included in this review because they were not published in peer-reviewed journals. More rigorous research investigating the current version of the curriculum is needed in order to establish evidence for positive effects of this curriculum on child school readiness outcomes.
While this report focuses on evidence for child outcomes in the school readiness domains, Parents as Teachers has also been associated with positive parenting outcomes. For more information on Parents as Teachers as a parenting curriculum, please see the Home-Based Parenting Curriculum Database. In addition, the Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) review presents information on associations between Parents as Teachers and outcomes in maternal and child health and other domains.
Rigorous Research Design: The ZEPPELIN study used an experimental design. The Parents Possible evaluation used a pre-post descriptive design without comparison groups.
Sample and Generalizability: The ZEPPELIN study took place in Switzerland. The sample included families of children who were less than 4 months old when the study began. Families had psychosocial risk factors, and most were immigrants to Switzerland. The Parents Possible program is located in Colorado. The sample included predominantly White parents, most of low income, and with many reporting Hispanic ethnicity. Children were 3 to 6 years old.
Fidelity of Implementation: The studies did not report information about training or fidelity of implementation.
Parenting Outcomes: The ZEPPELIN study found a positive effect of Parents as Teachers on maternal sensitivity when children were 12 months old, though not when children were 24 or 36 months old. The Parents Possible evaluation did not investigate effects on parenting outcomes.
Child Outcomes: The ZEPPELIN study analyzed children's expressive and receptive language development at 12, 24, and 36 months. It found a small positive effect on children's expressive language at 36 months for children whose families participated in Parents as Teachers. The Parents Possible evaluation investigated the program's effects on preschool children's school readiness, including children's understanding of colors, letters, numbers and counting, sizes and comparison, and shapes. Children whose families participated in Parents as Teachers as part of the Parents Possible program had a higher percentile rank in all domains after participating in the program than they did at program entry.
Drotar, D., Robinson, J., Jeavons, L., & Lester Kirchner, H. (2009). A randomized, controlled evaluation of early intervention: The Born to Learn curriculum. Child: Care, Health and Development, 35(5), 643–649. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2008.00915.x
Lopez, A., & Bernstein, J. (2016). Parent Possible: 2016 Parents as Teachers (PAT) evaluation. Denver, CO: OMNI Institute. Retrieved from http://media.wix.com/ugd/9c9066_b2b844df114646ee8d1b9404148fc5cb.pdf
Neuhauser, A., Ramseier, E., Shaub, S., Burkhardt, S. C. A., & Lanfranchi, A. (2018). Mediating role of maternal sensitivity: Enhancing language development in at-risk families. Infant Mental Health Journal, 39(5), 532–536.
Parents as Teachers. (2016). Evaluating an Investing in Innovations project to improve education outcomes for American Indian children. St. Louis, MO. Retrieved from https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56be46a6b6aa60dbb45e41a5/t/57eea52515d5db8fe16501ab/1475257637451/babyface_report_pat_2016.pdf
Zigler, E., Pfannenstiel, J. C., & Seitz, V. (2008). The Parents as Teachers program and school success: A replication and extension. Journal of Primary Prevention, 29(2), 103–120. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10935-008-0132-1
Growing Great Kids™ for PreschoolersFull Review & Ratings
At the time of this review, there are no available published research studies on Growing Great Kids™ for Preschoolers. However, there is some evidence that participation in programs using Growing Great Kids™: Prenatal–36 months is associated with positive child outcomes. Research investigating Growing Great Kids™ for Preschoolers is needed in order to establish evidence for positive effects on children's learning outcomes.
For information on Growing Great Kids™ as a parenting curriculum, please see the Home-Based Parenting Curriculum database.
Growing Great Kids™: Prenatal–36 MonthsFull Review & Ratings
At the time of this review, Growing Great Kids™: Prenatal–36 Months (Growing Great Kids™) has been studied as part of an evaluation of two home visiting programs, both administered by the Children's Institute of Los Angeles (Children's Institute, 2012; Children's Institute, 2017). The first study evaluated the federal Abandoned Infant Assistance (AIA) program, while the more recent study evaluated the Institute's Early Head Start (EHS) program. Both of these studies found outcomes for children associated with their families' participation in a program that used the Growing Great Kids™: Prenatal–36 Months curriculum. However, these evaluation studies used descriptive methods and did not include comparison groups. More rigorous research is needed in order to establish evidence for positive effects of the Growing Great Kids™ curriculum on child outcomes.
For information on Growing Great Kids™ as a parenting curriculum, please see the Home-Based Parenting Curriculum database.
Rigorous Design: The Children's Institute conducted pre-post descriptive studies that explored how child outcomes changed after families participated in their programs. There were no comparison groups.
Sample and Generalizability: Both Children's Institute studies had small sample sizes (under 100 families in the final samples) and primarily included families with incomes below the poverty line. The children in the EHS sample ranged in age from 1 month to 30 months old, with a mean age of 10 months old when they began the program. Most children were from Latino families. The AIA sample included women who were pregnant as well as children up to 3 years and 8 months old, with a mean age of 13 months. All families in the AIA sample had multiple risk factors.
Fidelity of Implementation: The reports did not provide information on fidelity of implementation. Home visitors in both programs received a week-long training from an official Growing Great Kids™ trainer. In addition, the EHS evaluation reported that home visitors participated in individual supervision twice each month, group supervision monthly, and booster training sessions annually. The AIA evaluation reported weekly individual and group supervision. The EHS program included weekly 90-minute home visits. The AIA program included weekly 60–90 minute home visits, with weekly supplemental group sessions.
Parenting Outcomes: The EHS evaluation did not investigate effects on parenting outcomes. The AIA evaluation found that parents reported positive changes in their stress levels, attitudes, and beliefs after six months in the program.
Child Outcomes: Both evaluations investigated child outcomes in the domains of communication, fine and gross motor, problem-solving, and personal-social skills. The EHS evaluation compared children's development in these domains at intake and at 4, 8, and 12 months. They reported normative child development in these domains. In addition, children's gross motor skills developed, on average, at a faster pace than normative development. The AIA evaluation reported that, after six months, child outcomes in communication, problem-solving, personal-social skills, and total score were higher than developmental norms for the children's ages. The EHS evaluation also explored child outcomes in initiative/attachment relationships and self-regulation and found that children's skills corresponded to normative development.
Children's Institute, Inc. (2012). Project Stable Home Abandoned Infants Assistance Grant Final Report (No.: 90-CB-0159). Los Angeles, CA: Author.
Children's Institute, Inc. (2017). Outcome Evaluation of the Growing Great Kids™ Developmental Curriculum with Early Head Start Families Served by Children's Institute, Inc. Los Angeles, CA: Research & Evaluation Center, Children's Institute.