• ParentChild+ is an evidence-based early childhood literacy, school readiness, and parenting program that strengthens families and prepares children for academic success through intensive home visiting. Home visits take place twice a week for thirty minutes each visit with two- and three-year-olds over a two-year period, for a total of 92 visits. A book or toy which becomes a gift to the family is the focus of the visit. The rich verbal interaction and construction of a nurturing, positive environment that gives parents confidence and gives children the motivation to learn are at the heart of ParentChild+. ParentChild+ was designed for families who may not have access to books or preschool, or who face challenges in preparing their young children for school. In Rockland, the newly-immigrated, foreign-born, and economically challenged populations make up the majority of families enrolled in the program. Many challenged families find it difficult to provide the time, material, and educational focus that young children need, but ParentChild+ makes it possible.


    Since 2002, the Suffern Central School District has collaborated with Rockland 21C to bring this ParentChild+ program to its community. Family Resource Center coordinators often serve as coordinators of ParentChild+ and are able to seamlessly link families to additional supports, thanks to their connection to the large Rockland 21C initiative.

    Denise Kane serves as the ParentChild+ coordinator for Suffern and implements an early childhood school readiness playgroup for graduates of ParentChild+ and the greater community; they act as a “bridge” that transfers the connection built with the home visitor to the school, its FRC coordinator, and one another as a social support group. These connections aid families as their children enter school. Recent ParentChild+ playgroup data demonstrates high gains in parent comfort in school, and an understanding that parents are their child’s advocates. Children reported that they felt comfortable in school and were better able to share and to focus.