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New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYS PEP) is a network of over 65 agencies, organizations and individuals with a mission to enhance parenting education skills, knowledge and behavior. Connected to other state initiatives that support healthy family development, NYS PEP began as part of an effort to implement strategies having to do with parenting education included in NYS Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Plan (ECCS). In January 2006, an interagency group (including the Head Start Collaboration Project) applied for and was accepted for participation in the University of North Carolina's PREVENT Child Maltreatment Institute. Through their participation in the PREVENT Institute, the group further developed their strategies for strengthening and expanding parenting education services identified under Strong Families, one of four interrelated cross-systems goals named in the ECCS plan.
Recognizing that parents have the most enduring influence on a child's health and early learning, one objective within the Strong Families focus area is to increase opportunities for all families to gain the knowledge, skills, confidence and social supports needed to nurture the health, safety and positive development of children. To achieve this goal and implement the related strategies, the organizing group established a statewide parenting education task force, which met for the first time in March 2007. Now called the New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP), the membership of the steering committee includes a Head Start program director and Collaboration Project staff as well as representatives from the Children and Family Trust Fund, State Education and Health Departments, Prevent Child Abuse New York, NYS Association of Family and Consumer Science Educators, Parents as Teachers, Children's Institute of Rochester, SCO Family Services and Homes for the Homeless, both in New York City, and the National Parenting Education Network.
The NYS Parenting Education Partnership held a second general meeting in September 2007 and established five workgroups focused on: assessing the availability of parenting education services; examining best practices in parenting education programs; designing methods of evaluating effectiveness in parenting education; developing methods to increase public understanding of positive parenting practices; and promoting professional development for parent educators. The work groups have all developed and are now implementing work plans leading to specific project outcomes that will be realized during the next few months.
General meetings are held annually in the spring and fall. Membership is open to representatives of organizations that support family development, including parents and guardians. Members receive a weekly electronic newsletter. To express interest in joining this partnership, please send an email to the Initiative Contact.