Upcoming Events:

- Full Calendar -

 

 

Youth Related Information

bee logo

B.e.e. Program

Begin Education Early

Program Delivery

Two innovations characterize the provision of parent education in the B.e.e. program. First, parenting sessions are individualized to deal with specific parenting concerns. Since evidence suggests that effective support programs are responsive to parent needs and build on existing strengths, parents participate in a process whereby they identify their most important values and concerns about the development of their children and about parent-child interaction. From these values and concerns, together with the observations of the parent educator, parent education sessions are developed to address parenting needs consistent with B.e.e. program goals and objectives.

Second, the use of a van, which families board to have their sessions, provides parents with a non-threatening and comfortable environment in which to discuss their concerns as well as an enriched and stimulating "classroom" for their children. The van is obtained through county contacts and renovated to accommodate the activities of the child and the child educator that take place in the back section of the van. The parent sits in the front of the van with the parent educator. The parent and child have their sessions simultaneously. The proximity of the parent and child allows the parent to observe the child's activities. The parent or child educator can talk to the parent about what the child is doing and how it supports child development and/or school readiness. (In program sites where a van is not available, the B.e.e. educators use their personal vehicles for transportation, and the sessions takes place inside the participant's home.)

Parenting information, individualized to the needs and goals of the parent, is delivered in ten one-on-one educational sessions by a trained parent educator. The ten sessions/home visits take place at the family's convenience on a weekly basis. The initial meeting is tightly structured to include a pre-program interview of parental goals, attitudes, behaviors, and concerns about child rearing and to focus on parenting behaviors that encourage school readiness. The publication, "Getting Young Children Ready to Learn" (published by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System), is the basis for this first session. Using this publication to focus on the child's best interests, the parent educator works to develop a trusting relationship with the parent.

Subsequent sessions build on this beginning, identifying parenting behaviors that achieve or obstruct parental goals for the children. Discussions, hands-on or written activities, handouts, role plays, and videos help the parents develop their thinking and skills in providing improved guidance and support, and understanding their role as effective first teachers of their children. The final session includes an post-program interview of parental goals, attitudes, and behaviors about child rearing and parenting for school readiness and assesses the changes in parents' knowledge and behaviors in these areas.

Sessions last approximately one hour. The parent is with the parent educator and the child is with the child educator for the first 50 minutes of each session. During this time, the child educator works with the child to expand his/her opportunities for language, social, and cognitive development through hands-on structured play activities. The B.e.e. program activities are designed to follow the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice. Each session (including the activity, book, and other supplemental activities) focuses on a specific topic (for example, animals, shapes and colors, etc.). During the last 10 minutes of the one-hour session, the educators bring the parent and child together to discuss the child's activity and its impact on child development and school readiness. The educators also use this time to provide additional activities that the parent and child can do at home. A graduation ceremony is held for participants who complete the ten-week program. Certificates are provided.

For each ten-week cycle, the B.e.e. educators have a caseload of 10-15 families. Also, group parenting meetings are held periodically. These include current, previous, and/or potential participants of the B.e.e. program.

Program Structure

Ten-week program (one session per week for ten weeks).

For each session, educators travel to the program participant's home in the B.e.e. van or in their personal vehicles.

A B.e.e. van (see picture on B.e.e. Home Page) is the preferred method of transportation. The back section of the van has an activity center for the child and child educator, and the parent and parent educator use the front section of the van (driver and passenger seats) to discuss parenting and school readiness information. The proximity of the parent and child allows the parent to observe the child's activities. The parent or child educator can talk to the parent about what the child is doing and how it supports child development and/or school readiness. To learn more about the information and activities used with B.e.e. children and parents, go to the Program Content Page.

In program sites where a van is not available, the B.e.e. educators use their personal vehicles for transportation, and the sessions takes place inside the participant's home.

Sessions last approximately one hour.

The parent is with the parent educator and the child is with the child educator for the first 50 minutes of each session. The educators bring the parent and child together for the final 10 minutes of the session to discuss the child's activity and its impact on child development and school readiness. The educators also use this time to provide additional activities the parent and child can do at home.

A graduation ceremony is held for participants completing the ten-week program. Certificates are provided.

Group parenting meetings are held periodically. These include current, previous, and/or potential participants of the B.e.e. program.