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Preschools that implement parent training show better outcomes for students

Shaina Cavazos

A family-intervention program implemented in some New York City preschools has been proven to prevent emotional and behavioral issues in children — and improve academic skills — according to research published Monday in the online edition of JAMA Pediatrics.

ParentCorps, which was developed at New York University Langone Medical Center, includes training for parents and preschool teachers on how to help children regulate their emotions. Slated for 21 schools citywide this year, it was created to meet the specific needs of low-income, minority parents and children in urban neighborhoods, where mental health and academic problems are prevalent.

A three-year study of about 800 students found that children in standard preschool settings were twice as likely to have emotional and behavioral problems as children whose preschool programs included ParentCorps. Students in ParentCorps also had better academic skills, according to ratings by teachers.

“Family-centered early intervention has the potential to prevent problems and reduce disparities for low-income minority children,” according to the study.

The news comes just as ParentCorps is expanding. The New York City Department of Education recently entered into a $14 million contract with NYU to bring the model to 50 schools, with training for 1,000 early education staff.

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