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Parent Express guides parents through baby's first year

The Issue

The care and guidance children receive during their first few years determines, to a large extent, whether they will become loving, confident, competent young people and adults. To promote early development, parents need to know how infants grow and change. They need to know the importance of responding warmly and consistently to their baby’s need for comfort and support. Parents need to understand the value of encouraging their infants to explore, of providing good nutrition and of maintaining a child-safe environment. They also need reassurance that they are capable of being good parents.

What Has ANR Done?

Parent Express is designed to provide useful, research-based information about parenting infants. Parent Express is a set of 15 monthly booklets designed to meet the needs of families most in need of help — new parents, teenage parents, low-income parents and those with limited education. The booklets, one for each month, are age-paced so parents receive information in small amounts when they most need and want it. Topics include child development, nutrition and feeding, health and safety, general infant care, and toys and games parents can use to stimulate their baby’s development.

Parent Express was introduced in the 1980s and was revised in 2001 by UCCE advisors Cathi Lamp and Estella West. Supported by funding from Tulare County First 5, Parent Express has been distributed to more than 15,000 families in the county through partner agencies such as the Tulare County Health and Human Services WIC Program.

The Payoff

Parents use information in Parent Express to become better parents

Of the 101 parents we surveyed in 2003, 95% said reading Parent Express helped them learn about how their baby grows and develops
92% said reading Parent Express made them feel more confident as a parent
100% rated the booklets as helpful and thought it worthwhile to send Parent Express to other parents
77% used the suggestions to promote their baby’s growth and development
More than 90% found the information on infant development, health and safety and infant nutrition helpful
More than 70% found the information on handling stress, guidance and discipline and games and toys helpful.

Parent Express is a cost-effective way to provide the parents who most need it easy-to-understand information that helps them promote their baby’s development. The publication will become available through ANR Communication Services in late 2006.

Clientele Testimonial

Participants stated: “It helped me see why it’s important to talk to your baby.” “I learned a lot. It takes you step by step.” “I’m learning to raise my baby in a good way.” “There were things I wasn’t expecting that were important to know.” “I also have a daycare so it not only helps me, but with other children as well.” “This was all new information because I did not do a lot of this stuff with my other two kids.”


Supporting Unit: Tulare County

Cathi Lamp, nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor, UCCE Tulare County, (559) 685-3309 ext. 218, cllamp@ucdavis.edu