The Seattle Times, 12/23/16   Teaching in King County’s living rooms: Parent coaches share what they’ve learned

What have two women learned about childhood development from working with the Parent-Child Home Program, which sent them into the living rooms and kitchens of some of King County’s poorest homes?

The key to the success of King County’s Parent-Child Home Program, featured Wednesday in The Seattle Times, is the people hired to visit families and help parents understand how to get the most educational value out of playing and reading with their 2- and 3-year-olds.

As part of the reporting for that story, which is part of our Education Lab project, we asked two people with experience as home visitors to share what they’ve learned from their work.

Below, we’ve featured some highlights from their responses to three questions about their experience in the program.

They are Stephanie Salazar, a Parent-Child supervisor who still visits with three families for the Children’s Home Society of Washington and Hannah Locke, a previous home visitor for Kindering but now manager of early learning impact at the United Way of King County.

What do you think makes parents interested in the Parent-Child Home Program, and how would you describe its value to a family?

Stephanie Salazar, I think the simplicity of this program really sparks an interest in parents. With an hour of home visits a week, we help give the parents the tools they need to be successful with their child while we are not there. The main value of this program is that parents get to build a stronger relationship with their children through play time while their children are learning and growing. We hope that this program lays the groundwork for children to be better prepared for kindergarten and beyond.

Hannah Locke: The first and primary reason a parent enrolls in (Parent-Child) is because they want the best for their child. They’ve learned that the program can help their child do well in school. It’s once they’re really into the program, and have completed a few months of visits and made a strong connection with their home visitor, that I think parents and the whole family start to understand the fullness of the impact.

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