Annual Conference

The Parent-Child Home Program National Center sponsors an Annual Conference which takes place in the spring. The two-day conference features workshops for both Site Coordinators and Early Learning Specialists, and is designed to provide professional development for PCHP staff. Site Coordinators (and, if possible, Early Learning Specialists) are strongly encouraged to attend. Many of the workshops cover topics of interest to anyone working in the early childhood or home visiting field, and is open to all of those who are interested.


The 2017 Conference was held from May 8-9 at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale, NY. We thank everyone who attended, especially our Keynote Speakers and Workshop Presenters! 


2017 Keynote Speakers 

Al Race, is Chief Knowledge Officer and Deputy Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. A member of the Center’s senior leadership for 10 years, his focus is on how to use the knowledge generated by the Center’s work in order to transform the landscape in which science-based innovation for children and families facing adversity can thrive and grow. As a senior spokesperson for the Center, he helps scientists, researchers, students, the media, and other thought leaders improve their communication of the science of child development and science-based innovation. He also leads the Center’s knowledge translation, communication, and public engagement portfolios, including the development and execution of strategic communications plans, communications research, publications, and new media products. He guides the team that produces the Center’s website, which now averages nearly 4,600 video views and paper downloads each day and nearly 80,000 visitors each month from 200 countries.


“The Brain Architecture Game: Every Brain Tells a Story “: The Brain Architecure Game is a tabletop game experience that builds understanding of the powerful role of experiences on early brain development – what promotes it, what derails it, and with what consequences for society. A facilitated discussion concludes the game and establishes a strong, shared frame for productive conversations on a range of early childhood issues, policies and programs.


Margaret Caspe,  PhD, is the Director of Research and Professional Learning at the Global Family Research Project. Her research focuses on how families, early childhood programs, schools, and communities support children’s learning. As part of the HFRP team, Margaret co-leads the Libraries for the 21st Century: It’s a Family Thing project and develops materials to prepare educators for family engagement. She is co-editor of Promising Practices for Engaging Families in Literacy and author of a variety of reports and articles including Engaging Families in the Child Assessment Process. Margaret received her PhD in Applied Psychology from The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University and she holds an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining HFRP she was Director of Early Childhood Programs at Children’s Aid Society in New York City. She is based in New Jersey where she and her 3 daughters count reading among their favorite family activities.


Family Engagement for the 21st Century: Reaching Out and Raising Up  : Family engagement is one of, if not the, most important predictors of children’s success in school and life. Together we will talk about the latest research and innovations in family engagement and different initiatives across the country that are promoting family engagement anywhere, anytime children learn; in places like the home, early childhood programs, museums, and libraries. We will also explore how a core set of engagement practices – reach out, raise up, reinforce, relate, and reimagine – are reshaping how educators are empowering families in the communities they live.




Program teaches Buffalo parents how to prepare kids for school
parent-child home program buffalo

Three-year-old Alicia Wityee picked up an alphabet block from the back of a wooden toy truck and showed it to her mom.

“I?” she asked.

Her mother, Lalpan Mawii, took a peek.

“Look at it again,” she told her daughter.

“T,” Alicia said, barely audibly.

“Louder. I can’t hear you,” her mother gently coaxed.

“T!” the girl said clearly.

Alicia graduated this May from the Parent-Child Home Program, a nationwide program that teaches parents how to get their children ready for school. Twice a week for two years, mentors go to a family’s house and show the parents how to use children’s books and educational toys to engage their children in conversation and get them ready for preschool.

In Buffalo, where state tests showed only 16.4 percent of children grades 3 through 8 were proficient in English Language Arts last year, two local groups run Parent-Child Home programs. They are Jericho Road Community Health Center and King Urban Life Center. Through Jericho, 100 families participate in the program at a time. In many cases, the parents are resettled refugees who may be learning to speak English themselves.

“It’s not a tutoring program,” said Debbie Fleischmann, who runs Jericho’s Parent-Child Home Program which is funded through a combination of grants and donations. “We model for the parents how to use books and toys to increase literacy in the homes. That in turn gets the children ready for school.”


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