Two-Gen Education Initiative Helps Low-Income Parents and Kids

We started in 2010. Career Advance is part of the community action
project of Tulsa – CAP Tulsa. And CAP Tulsa has launched the first two-generation
program in the country. So the idea is to approach parents who already
are participating and have gotten their kids into head start, have high expectations for
their kids and recruit these parents into their own education, job-training program. So what happened is we have the program group
and then a comparison group that is highly similar. These are parents whose kids are in CAP Tulsa’s
head start, but they’re not in career advance job training for the health care sector. And we follow them over a year, approximately
250 families total, and the career advance parents are doing much better than the comparison
group. And I actually compare it to what happened
in the 1970s when the Abecedarian and Perry preschool programs were launched. These were the first ever model, high-quality
early childhood education programs for low-income children. And at that time the research was new, there
was a lot of skepticism that this is too expensive and now those children are fifty years old
and their health is better, their cardiovascular measures are better, they’re doing much better
in life and they have been all the way throughout. So we have fifty years of data on the impact
of early childhood education. It could be much stronger, in my opinion,
if parents also changed their educational trajectories early while children are in early
childhood education.

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