Parent-Child Home Program: We know a good thing when we see it!

By United Way of King County, on February 13, 2016 | In Helping Students Graduate

Test Results Show Long-Term Benefits

Three out of four low-income kids in Washington are behind their peers when they start kindergarten – and this opportunity gap can stick with them for life.

We knew early on that the Parent-Child Home Program was a game-changer for low-income families – and could close that opportunity gap. Matching in-home coaches with parents of isolated 2- and 3-year olds – bringing educational books and toys, helping parents become their kids’ best teachers – is a smart idea no matter how you look at it.

With lots of donor support, we’ve grown the program from 160 families in 2009 to 1,200 families this year. National research has long shown that kids who go through the program are better prepared than their peers who don’t participate in the program. Recent local research shows something even more exciting. A longitudinal study from ORS Impact shows that the success PCHP grads experience and take with them to the first day of kindergarten sticks with them for years to come. The highlights include:

  1. Kids are more ready for kindergarten. PCHP graduates score higher on readiness scores than both the comparison group – and Washington State average!
  2. Increased English Language Proficiency. More PCHP graduates, compared to the comparison group, demonstrated higher levels of English proficiency when they entered kindergarten.
  3. Increased academic performance at Grade 3. PCHP graduates significantly out-performed the comparison group in reading and math. They also performed higher in math that the statewide average.

This study shows that reaching these children early in life is eliminating the opportunity gap – not only do these kids out-perform their peers who didn’t go through the program, they are out-performing state averages.

Hats off (future graduation caps, that is) to these Parent-Child Home Program kids and their families. Their work early-on will continue to be with them for years to come.


William J. Donohue
May 15, 2018

I am interested in adapting the King County PCH Program to Erie County, NY and would like to discuss your program with its director. 716 626 9445.

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