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 2018 Conference was held from May 7-8 at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale, NY. 


Keynote Speakers 


Pat Edwards

Patricia A. Edwards, a member of the Reading Hall of Fame is a Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Teacher Education, and a Senior University Outreach Fellow at Michigan State University. She is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in parent involvement, home, school, community partnerships, multicultural literacy, early literacy, and family/inter-generational literacy, especially among poor and minority children. She served as a member of the IRA Board of Directors from 1998–2001, and in 2006-2007 as the first African American President of the Literacy Research Association (formerly the National Reading Conference), and as President of the International Reading Association (2010-2011). She is currently the co-editor of the Michigan Reading Journal. She is the co-author of A Path to Follow: Learning to Listen to Parent (1999) with Heather M. Pleasants and Sarah H. Franklin, Bridging Literacy and Equity: The Essential Guide to Social Equity Teaching (2012) with Althier M. Lazar and Gwendolyn T. McMillon, and Change is Gonna Come: Transforming Literacy for African American Students (2010) with Gwendolyn T. McMillon and Jennifer D. Turner.

At the 2011 annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Edwards and her co-authors were recognized for their book with the prestigious Edward B. Fry Book Award. This national award honors authors of an exceptional literacy research and practice book. Dr. Edwards is co-editor of Best Practices in ELL Instruction (2010) with Guofang Li and the author of Tapping the Potential of Parents: A Strategic Guide to Boosting Student Achievement Through Family Involvement (2009), Children literacy development: Making It Happen Through School, Family, and Community Involvement (2004) and New Ways to Engage Parents: Strategies and Tools for Teachers and Leaders (2016), winner of the 2017 Delta Kappa Gamma Educators Book Award.

At the 2012 LRA annual meeting, Dr. Edwards received the Albert J. Kingston Service Award. In May at the annual meeting of the International Reading Association, Dr. Edwards received the 2014 IRA Jerry Johns Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award. Dr. Edwards received the 2015 Michigan Reading Association’s Outstanding Teacher Educator Award. She has been invited to serve as an expert consultant for the Fulbright Specialist Program. She has also been invited to join Michigan State University (MSU) Leadership Learning Community: “Tending the Path Forward after Full Professor: Career Paths of Women Professors.” Dr. Edwards was invited to serve as external reviewer of the Language and Literacy Curriculum at Florida Atlanta University (January 2016) and Central Michigan University (March 2016). More recently, Dr. Edwards was named as the 2017-2018 Jeanne S. Chall Visiting Researcher at Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Speech: “In the Beginning: Building the Foundations for Literacy Learning”

A supportive and positive learning environment (both at home and at school) will allow children to explore and test their abilities, improve their skill level and enhance their social behavior. The goal of this presentation is to highlight ways in which to bridge the gap between the home and school. Dr. Edwards will share strategies, photos, videos, and books that highlight these literacy beginnings.

Dr. Isakon

Elizabeth A. Isakson is the Executive Director of Docs for Tots. She is a pediatrician and public health practitioner with 15 years of experience with Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) and the New York Zero To Three Netwrok (NYZTT). Her passion and support for early childhood systems integration (health, education, family) stems from her exposure to the short- and longer-term human outcomes of an under-funded and misaligned system for families with young children.

Dr. Isaskson has published multiple publications with the NCCP across the systems of early care and education, healthy and family economic security. With NCCP and Susan Ochshorn of ECE PolicyWorks, she envisioned and executed the policy forum “Paid Family Leave: Getting it Right from the Start.” Dr. Isakson sat on the executive committee of the board for the NYZTT Network from 2008-2013, where she authored the 2008 report Unequal from the Start: A Check-up on NYC’s Infants and Toddlers. From 2015-2016 Dr. Isakson taught advocacy to graduate level students at Mt. Sinai School of Public Health. She is a sough-after speaker on issues of community and state systems to support healthy development in early childhood.

Dr. Isakson trained in General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of New York where she served as Chief Resident. She received her MD from University of Connecticut Medical School.


Speech: “Transforming Early Childhood: From Programs to a System that Works for Families”

This keynote will explore the current state of early childhood services from the perspective of the family through interactive team building exercises. Participants will rebuild a support system for families in a community by exploring their experiences, partnerships, data sharing, and interactions within the early childhood system. The discussion will include innovations that are currently trending, such as the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) Impact Grant (for which Docs for Tots is the local lead in Nassau County, NY), and the Help Me Grow (HMG) system, which brings different programs, organizations, and sectors together in early childhood to create lasting collective impact. Both ECCS and HMG are national initiatives, with ECCS awarded to twelve states and HMG in 52 communities or states across the country.



Please click here to view the 2018 agenda.  

Press Release, 6/18/18   Parent-Child Home Program and Catholic Charities Announce the Launch of PCHP Onondaga County

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK, June 2018 – The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) National Center is pleased to announce the launch of its first site in Syracuse, New York. Thanks to generous support from the Allyn Family Foundation, MAEVA Social Capital, and a multi-year grant through the Early Childhood Alliance (ECA) from the Alliance for Economic Inclusion’s anti-poverty grants, PCHP has partnered with Catholic Charities of Onondaga County to bring its evidence-based Program to low-income families in the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County. With these strong partnerships in place, Catholic Charities is starting home visits this month. In its first year, the Catholic Charities PCHP site will work with at least 50 families with the goal of doubling in size in the next year.

On June 19, County Executive Joanie Mahoney, will host a kickoff event with Sarah Walzer, national PCHP CEO, and Eva and Harry Wilson of MAEVA Social Capital at the CNY Philanthropy Center Ballroom. Highlighting the ECA’s support for this initiative, Director Laurie Black noted “Parent-Child Home Program is a core strategy of the Early Childhood Alliance’s efforts to ensure more children enter school ready to be successful students.”

Through PCHP, community based early learning specialists work with families, in their homes, helping parents with children ages two to four who do not have access to quality early childhood programming, build language and learning rich home environments. The Program enhances children’s literacy, cognitive, and social emotional skills, preparing them for school and supporting their transition to pre-k. PCHP was selected after an in-depth needs assessment by the Early Childhood Alliance which revealed “a troubling gap. After a child’s second birthday, the number of home visiting programs operating in Onondaga County plummeted,” notes Bethany Creaser, Director of Educational Services at Catholic Charities, “The only available home visiting program for parents with children over two necessitates a referral from welfare services.”

Eva and Harry Wilson, the founders of MAEVA Social Capital, remarked, “We focus on working with and investing in nonprofits with demonstrated success in closing the achievement gap and helping those nonprofits expand and grow. PCHP is one of the best and most effective nonprofits we have found, and it is a great joy to help them open in Syracuse and work to close the achievement gap in Onondaga County.”

With over 50 years of proven outcomes, PCHP has documented important longitudinal impacts for program participants: graduates enter school as well or better prepared than their classmates, perform significantly better than their socioeconomic peers and as well as or better than the overall population on school readiness measures, and are reading and doing math on grade level in third grade. They are 50 percent less likely to be referred to special education services by the third grade; and they graduate from high school at the rate of middle class children nationally – a 30 percent higher rate than their socio-economic peers.

As Kara Williams, the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Allyn Family Foundation observed, “We knew pretty quickly that Parent Child Home Program was a good fit. The equity and social justice framing really appealed to us – the program prioritizes recruiting staff from within the community, and they’re known for employing graduates of the program.”

Media Contact:
Courtney Inman, PCHP Development & Events Director
Phone: 516.883.7481 Email:
About Parent-Child Home Program

The Parent-Child Home Program’s (PCHP) international network of program sites provides under-resourced families with the necessary tools to ensure their children achieve their greatest potential in school and in life. Since 1965, PCHP has been assisting underserved communities in replicating and expanding this proven school readiness program that builds early parent-child verbal interaction and learning at home. Through twice-weekly visits by highly trained community-based early learning specialists, PCHP provides families the skills, materials (books and educational toys), and support to help parents engage and teach their children. Over 50 years of research shows that the Program effectively increases school readiness, decreases the need for special education services before grade three by 50%, and increases participants’ high school graduation rates by over 30% to the same level as their middle-income peers. For more information please go to