What is the United Way ParentChild+ Program?
United Way’s ParentChild+ program (formerly the Parent Child Home Program or PCHP) supports education as one of the building blocks for a good life. The goal of the program is to train caregivers of young children in Middlesex county to promote early brain development and literacy.
ParentChild+ Home Visitors take books and toys into the homes of qualified children. The books and toys are tools used to initiate positive verbal interaction between the parent and child. They provide an opportunity for the parent to teach the child new vocabulary, as well as letters, colors and counting.
How does ParentChild+ help support our community?
ParentChild+ has positively impacted the lives of children in at risk communities throughout its 53-year history. The benefits of the ParentChild+ program have been studied, with empirical evidence suggesting that it is effective in preparing children for school and improving performance on standardized tests. The positive effects continue through childhood into adolescence, with one study showing that ParentChild+ graduates from low income families have a 20-30% greater chance of graduating high school compared with their socioeconomic peers.
Who is eligible to receive ParentChild+ support?
Between birth and age 5, a child’s brain develops faster than at any other time during his or her life. With this in mind, ParentChild+ enrolls children between the ages of 16 and 24 months. Each child benefits from the program for up to 12 months.
To be eligible for ParentChild+ support, a child must come from a low-income family as documented by receipt of government assistance such as TANF, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI and/or WIC. They lack access to daycare, and generally do not have quality books or toys in the home.
United Way of Central Jersey supports between 15 and 20 children with the ParentChild+ program in Middlesex County at any given time.
How can I support early childhood education through PCHP in Middlesex County?
United Way of Central Jersey is striving to grow the ParentChild+ program, with the ultimate goal of serving every income eligible child residing within our service area. We need your support to make this goal a reality.
One way to support the ParentChild+ program is to volunteer as a home visitor. All home visitors undergo 16 hours of training to learn the fundamentals of following a child’s lead and modeling this behavior to parents. First time home visitors shadow more experienced home visitors to prepare for future visits on their own. To become a volunteer, contact United Way at (732) 247-3727 Ext. 217. If outside of New Jersey, visit the national ParentChild+ Program website.
Individual donations and corporate sponsors also play a huge role in supporting the ParentChild+ program. A $20 donation sponsors books and toys for a home visitor participant for one week. A $500 contribution sponsors the books and toys for a ParentChild+ family for the entire 30 months the child benefits from the program.
The ParentChild+ program is supported in part by United Way's Christian C. Kjeldsen Fund for Children. When you direct your donation to the Fund you will be helping us to be able to work with more families in Middlesex County to ensure children are reading at grade level by third grade and on track to graduate from high school.