First Teachers @ Home offers lower income parents the chance to transform how they work with their preschool-age children, so their kids acquire the necessary skills to start kindergarten able to succeed. Parents are empowered to help foster literacy, math, science, and behavioral skills for their children, and to offset some of the impairments caused by mental health problems.
The outcomes are impressive: nearly 83 percent of four year olds enrolled in First Teachers @ Home pass the indices used for kindergarten assessment instruments. Importantly, about 68 percent of parents stated that they are "interacting" with their children more than they did before starting the program.
When queried about what that means, typically they say that instead of having their children watch television, they are talking to their children. Some say that they are spending more "quality time" with their children, without expanding further on the meaning behind that statement.
About 92 percent of parents report a higher self-confidence regarding their abilities to parent effectively. Most parents say that they have changed how they discipline their children, and some mention specifically that they are much more careful about the words they use – they are more positive in how they refer to their children, and say they don't use negative language as casually as they did previously.
About two-thirds of the parents say that they don't hit their children, but it is unclear how accurate this number really is. At the very least, it does reflect an understanding of the lower value of using this way to discipline children.
An unintended consequence of parental participation in First Teachers @ Home appears to be a change in how parents view the importance of education for their children. In follow-up interviews with parents one or two years after they completed the program, the parents reported that they are more involved with how their children are doing academically, and those who worked with younger children while having other children already enrolled in elementary school have commented that they have higher expectations for their younger children and encourage them to do better in school than they had with their older children.