Century Collaborative for Children & Youth runs the two-year-long Parent-Child Home Program. It is
designed for families who may not have access to books or preschool, or who
face challenges in preparing their young children for school.
The program uses trained para-professionals for the home visits, which take place twice a week for a half hour each. They meet families with two- and three-year-olds. A new book is given one week, and a toy the next week.
“This research-based program works,” said Harriet Cornell, chair and one of the founders of Rockland 21C. “Children enter school on an equal footing with their more affluent peers and maintain, even exceed, that level as they progress through school.”
The home visitor models for parents how to get children to interact through reading and play. The program empowers and guides parents to develop a home setting that supports learning.
Since 2002, the Nyack, North Rockland, and East Ramapo school districts and a nonprofit Nanuet Family Resource Center have collaborated with Rockland 21C to bring Parent-Child Home to Rockland County. The North Rockland program recently graduated children and home visitors.
Funding support comes from United Way and Rockland County and the county’s AmeriCorps Program provides many of the home visitors.
Demand for the program continues to rise in Rockland, which has existing areas of poverty and an increasing newly-immigrated, foreign-born population. There are now waiting lists of families who want to participate in the program.
The Parent-Child Home Program (www.parent-child.org) is nationally recognized. A video about Parent-Child Home in Rockland, which has been recognized by the National Center of Parent-Child Home, can be viewed here. www.rockland21c.org.