Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher.
This is why we do our best to give new parents the support they need.
At Illinois Action for Children, we know that being a parent can be the most rewarding—and challenging—experience in life. To help you best help your children, we offer Home Visiting for pregnant women and families of infants, toddlers, and twos.
You are your child’s first—and most important—teacher. Our parent educators will partner with you, in your home (or one of our Early Learning Centers), in three key areas:
- Child-centered parenting
- Parent-child interaction
- Family well-being
Parent Educators support families with child development information, family well-being, connections to community resources, goal-setting, screening, and gaining access to early intervention services if needed.
Parent Educators reflect the community that they serve and are culturally sensitive, providing visits in the parent’s home language when needed.
Every parent wants the very best for their children. By working together, we can make sure you have healthy interactions with your children to further their overall development.
Home Visiting Program Options
There are two programs that utilize Home Visiting to support families prepare their children for school-readiness.
Early Head Start Home-Based Program: Families enrolled in this program model are from the community. Once enrolled, they are assigned a Parent Educator that will come to their homes and bring parent-child activities that support the achievement of developmental milestones and will provide resources and referrals to families as needed.
Prevention Initiative Center-Based Program: Families enrolled in this program model are from community childcare centers and Illinois Action for Children’s directly operated centers. Parent Educators are connected to infant, toddler, and two-year-old classrooms to support families with individual parent-child activities that support the achievement of developmental milestones and will provide resources and referrals to families as needed.
In each model, the Parent Educator comes to the family home with developmentally appropriate activities that parents can use to support their child's milestone achievements through their third birthday. Developmental screenings are completed throughout the year in collaboration with the parent. If there are any concerns, the Parent Educator will help guide the family through the referral process with the local Child and Family Connections office.
The Parent Educator will also help the family make goals, give referrals, and support the family with resources to relieve other stressors that can make parenting harder. There is also an opportunity for families to get together for a socialization group regularly. These groups allow time for parents and children to just play together as the parent observes their child's milestones. It also gives parents an opportunity to engage with each other and have conversations about life issues or issues around raising children. This support is vital in building community.
IAFCs Early Learning Parent Educators utilize the Parents as Teachers Evidence-Based curriculum model.
This internationally-recognized home visiting model is backed by 35 years of research-proven outcomes for children and families. The four main components of the Parents as Teachers model; personal visits, group connections, resource network, and child screening, create a cohesive package of services to achieve the goals of:
- Increasing parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve parent practices;
- Provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues;
- Prevent child abuse and neglect; and
- Increase children’s school-readiness and success.
All curriculum materials and resources are research-based and parent handouts are available in multiple languages to support the family’s home language needs.
- The curriculum is implemented in the family home when possible, but can happen at the center, library, park, or other locations that may be convenient for the parent.
- Research has shown that parents participating in Parents as Teachers Home Visiting programs read to their children more often and are more involved in their child’s school activities.