The Parenting Matters Report (Report) is a 524-page landmark document intended to provide guidance at a national level regarding the support of parents. It was undertaken by the National Academy of Medicine with financial support from the following influential sponsors:
The Administration for Children and Families,
Bezos Family Foundation,
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
David and Lucile Packard Foundation,
U.S. Department of Education,
Foundation for Child Development,
Health Resources and Services Administration,
Heising-Simons Foundation, and
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The Report made 10 recommendations for establishing a national support program for parents with children ages 0-8. Recommendation # 2 reads, “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Institute of Education Sciences, [and] the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute…should fund research focused on developing guidance for policy makers and program administrators and managers on how to scale effective parenting programs as widely and rapidly as possible…”
The Report recognizes that “implementing…interventions to support parents” is a significant challenge. BWC started its intervention effort in hospital birthing centers, successfully enrolling more than 9,000 families in its program by March 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic ended this approach, as having volunteers engaging with parents in hospitals will not be possible for the foreseeable future.
BWC now plans to use social media to contact and enroll parents during the prenatal time window up through their child’s 18th month.
Once enrolled, BWC’s study course addresses, among other things, the Report’s three major parenting topics of 1) parental knowledge, 2) parent attitudes, and 3) effective parenting practices. We do this through our monthly Journal of Parenthood, KinderKronicle.
In advocating for a national response, the Parenting Matters Report found that it was important to involve fathers and make sure parents are treated as equal partners. BWC bases its parenting materials on universal principles and provides multiple suggestions for ways to apply them to help a wide range of families. KinderKronicle also has a “Dad Difference” section in many issues specifically addressing and including fathers, and constantly acknowledges that parents are a child’s first and best teachers.
In a nutshell, the Begin with the Children parenting program meets the core objectives outlined in the Parenting Matters Report, fits the parameters of many of its recommendations, and helps support parent and child development throughout childhood.