Parent-Child Home Program: No Loss of Instructional Time

By United Way of King County, on July 15, 2016 | In Helping Students Graduate

It’s summertime and Wesley and his daughter Heaven work on a puzzle together. This single dad asks his three-year old lots of questions, stimulating interaction and conversation with her, something he learned after participating in United Way of King County’s Parent-Child Home Program.

When many young learners take a break from books and educational toys during the school break, they experience summer learning loss. But not Heaven. She’ll continue developing her cognitive skills. That’s because Parent-Child Home Program models educational play for parents of two and three year olds. That modeling, done by a culturally-relevant home visitor, teaches parents how to stimulate their child’s learning all year long.

Parent Child Home Program

Veronica Williams, a home visitor with Parent-Child Home Program, says the child is not the only one learning during the bi-weekly home visits.

“I model for the parents on what to do. It’s a guideline and not a must-do, but just a guideline. After a while, a lot of parents take the lead, hand the child a book or a toy. The child will take it and the parent then takes charge and I think to myself, ‘That’s exactly what we want to happen.’”

Wesley says that when Veronica modeled educational play for him, a light bulb went off; the home visits were more than mere child’s play.

“It opened up a lot of learning for both of us, not just for her but for me, especially on how I need to teach her and the things I need to develop with her. She’s coloring, tracing, all of the things that we worked on. She’s phenomenal in puzzles, puzzles and shapes. It was a big help for me because now I know what areas to really work on with her.”

Wesley and Heaven with PCHP home visitor Veronica.
Wesley and Heaven with PCHP home visitor Veronica.


The odds are often stacked against low-income children like Heaven. Three out of four low-income children in Washington are behind their peers when they start kindergarten. The Parent-Child Home Program zeroes in on the preparation gap by supporting parents during the crucial early years of their child’s development. Nationwide, more than 84 % of kids who complete the Parent-Child Home program graduate from high school, compared to just 54% of their socioeconomic peers.

Even though Heaven is a new graduate of the program, her learning will continue all summer long. Wesley credits Parent-Child Home Program for setting them both up for success.

“The program taught me things that I need to teach my child.”

Helping Heaven succeed is no longer a dream for Wesley. United Way of King County’s support of Parent-Child Home Program has equipped him and hundreds of other parents who have participated in the program, with the tools they need to make that happen.


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