Tiered universal and targeted early childhood interventions: Enhancing attendance across families with varying needs

Caitlin F. Canfield*, Elizabeth B. Miller, Yudong Zhang, Daniel Shaw, Pamela Morris, Chardee Galan, Alan L. Mendelsohn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study examined whether a two-tiered parenting program, which provides universal primary prevention along with targeted secondary prevention only for families with increased needs, would have mutually beneficial impacts on attendance across two program components. A secondary analysis of the Smart Beginnings (SB) randomized controlled trial was conducted. SB takes place from birth to age 3 and combines universal delivery of the Video Interaction Project (VIP) with targeted delivery of the Family Check-Up (FCU) for families identified as having increased risks following yearly screening. The current study analyzed whether attendance in VIP in the first six months was associated with FCU attendance for eligible families at six months, and whether FCU attendance at six and 18 months was associated with subsequent VIP attendance. Analyses included logistic and mixed-effects Poisson regression, as well as group-based trajectory analysis. VIP attendance predicted later FCU attendance (AOR = 5.43, p <.01), and FCU attendance predicted later VIP attendance (IRR = 1.35, p <.01) and a high-stable VIP attendance trajectory (AOR=14.98, p <.01). Findings provide strong support for the ability of tiered models to engage parents, to promote effective and efficient service delivery to reduce disparities in school readiness, and their potential to overcome common barriers to attendance and scaling by addressing the heterogeneity of risk among low-income families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-369
Number of pages8
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023


  • Attendance
  • Parenting
  • Prevention
  • Tiered programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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