CAP Tulsa has worked hard to become a national leader in early childhood education because research has shown the importance of high-quality early education for a child’s future success. But the educational piece alone is not enough. Indeed, early childhood educators have long recognized the importance of engaging families in creating supporting environments for their child’s development.
CAP Tulsa is at the forefront of a new nation-wide effort to develop a true “two-generation” approach to breaking the cycle of poverty. A two-generation approach explicitly integrates high-quality educational opportunities for young children with strong evidence-based educational, workforce readiness, and parenting programming for their parents. This strategy engages children and parents together to build mutual motivation to achieve three key outcomes:
- Children enter school prepared for success;
- Families create a nurturing and secure environment for their children; and,
- Families are connected to one another.
Innovation Lab has led the effort to bring the two-generational vision to life at CAP Tulsa by working across the agency to strengthen program offerings for parents; develop a comprehensive Family Success Plan that helps families develop a path to achieve goals; and push the effort to integrate offerings for children and parents by opening new lines of communication within the agency and training staff on the two-generation philosophy.
For the latest thinking in two-generation approaches:
- Gateways to Two Generations: The Potential for Early Childhood Programs and Partnerships to Support Children and Parents Together – Ascend at the Aspen Institute
- Helping Parents, Helping Children: Two-Generation Mechanisms – The Future of Children, Spring 2014
- Mother’s Education and Children’s Outcomes: How Dual-Generation Programs Offer Increased Opportunities for America’s Families – Foundation for Child Development, July 2014
- Spotlight webcast – Olivia Golden, Executive Director of the Center for Law and Social Policy, discusses the Two Generation approach