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Parent and Caregiver Empowerment Team

Goal: Parents & caregivers have their basic needs met & have the resources they need to support their child's development.

Key Objectives

  • Evanston provides and ensures access to parenting support, skill, and relationship building
  • Adult family members/caregivers have the supports they need to thrive as their children's first teachers
  • Adult family members/caregivers have needed literacy skills

Initial focus

In light of the critical role of parents as their children’s first teachers, the Parent and Caregiver Empowerment Team is focusing initially on increasing parental access to information about the critical role of everyday talking, reading, and singing to your infants and toddlers to promote literacy development through a citywide Talk, Read, Sing Initiative.

This initiative has kicked off with the Brain Builders texting program that sends parents thoughtful reminders at moments when they are likely to be with their children with tips about activities they might do with their child to help build their literacy skills. To sign up, parents text COE TRS1 to 468311. More information about Brain Builders can be found here.

The team is also working on a citywide Talk, Read, Sing information campaign in partnership with pediatricians, obstetricians, home family visitors, and home and center-based early childhood education and day care providers to raise the profile of the powerful role of simple interactions between parents/caregivers and their children in increasing young children’s readiness to learn.

Simultaneously, the team is working with Evanston's home family visiting programs to improve coordination of intake and referral to maximize our ability to reach as many of Evanston's new families as possible--again partnering with health care and other service providers.