Mobilizing Social Networks in Early Childhood Education Centers: A Pilot Study

Project: Research project

Project Details


Mobilizing social networks helps people meet their aims. This principle is no less true of low-income parents aiming to improve their children’s chances of success. We propose an intervention designed to leverage the power of social networks to help parents ensure their children’s academic success. Our proposed site is an Acelero Learning Head Start Center. We propose a pilot intervention, to begin in September 2013, to see whether we can incentivize parent networks—so that parents mobilize social capital within the center as they work to improve their children’s education. Our hypothesis is that within centers where parents mobilize their own social capital, all children will benefit socially and cognitively, in addition to the subgroup of children whose parents are actively forming new social capital. The core idea is that parents may be more effective when working with other parents than when doing so in isolation or only with center staff. The innovation is to structure the program so that parents form networks of their own accord, in their own terms, and with other parents of their own choosing. Since Acelero Learning programs work on the academic year, our pilot intervention would be planned this year for a September 2013 launch. We will study the impact on parents’ engagement in their children’s Head Start Centers, their parenting styles, and their children’s development.
Effective start/end date12/21/1210/31/14


  • Aspen Institute (AGMT-04-12-13)


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