The Parent-Child Education Program (PCEP) Evaluation

Last registered on November 29, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

The Parent-Child Education Program (PCEP) Evaluation
Initial registration date
November 28, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
November 29, 2022, 2:09 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


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Primary Investigator

Rice University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Rice University
PI Affiliation
Rice University
PI Affiliation
AVANCE National
PI Affiliation
AVANCE National

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The study aims to learn how participation in AVANCE PCEP (Parent-Child Education Program) impacts children’s school readiness. In addition, the study will attempt to measure the program’s effects on parents’ communication social connections, parent-child interactions, and overall confidence in parenting.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Carrasco, Ana et al. 2022. "The Parent-Child Education Program (PCEP) Evaluation." AEA RCT Registry. November 29.
Experimental Details


PCEP is a national model of early childhood education and parenting education. Parents learn to help their children excel during their most critical years of learning through various parenting workshops, creative toy-making sessions, and community resources. The program’s premise is that parents are their children’s first and most important teachers. The in-person three-hour sessions occur every week, and the program lasts nine months. The program has four ingredients:

1. Parenting Education: Parents learn about child growth and development. They understand that they are their children’s first and most important teachers and that the home is the first classroom.
2. Toy Making Class: In this class, parents construct toys for their children that will aid them as they “learn through play.”
3. Community Resources: The program introduces the parents to community resources. AVANCE schedules representatives from local organizations to conduct one-hour presentations to share information about available resources to parents and families at no cost.
4. Children’s sessions: AVANCE provides a stimulating and nurturing educational environment for children 0 to 4 years of age while their parents attend the parenting sessions. Children learn basic concepts such as letters, numbers, figures, colors, and other activities designed to stimulate the five stages of their fine gross motor skills. The program helps children prepare for elementary school.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Parents' communication, social connections, parent-child interactions, and overall confidence in parenting. Children's school readiness.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We describe the survey questionnaires and the child development assessment tool.
Survey questionnaires:
1. Survey of Parent/Provider Expectations and Knowledge (SPEAK). Assesses expectations and knowledge of early childhood cognitive and language development.
2. Family Empowerment Scale: Assesses empowerment in parents and other caretakers whose children have emotional disabilities.
3. FamilyInvolvement Questionnaire -Early Childhood (FIQ): Measure of parents’ involvement in children’s early educational experiences that promote positive educational outcomes.
4. The Parenting Sense of Competence Scale: Assesses distinct aspects of parenting self-esteem. Measures of child behavior and parenting style.
5. Social Connectedness Scale: Measures the relationship between social connectedness, dysfunctional interpersonal behaviors, and psychological stress.
6. Assessment tools that measure children’s learning and progress on school readiness

Child Development Assessment:
We will use the Cognitive Toy Box for Schools (CTB). CTB is an assessment tool for children birth to five years of age that combines game-based and observational evaluations. In 20 minutes or less, this research-backed screening tool assesses school readiness levels across five central developmental domains: Approaches to Learning, Social and Emotional Development, Language and Literacy, Cognition, and Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will have four groups of parents (and children): 1. Head Start with the usual parenting engagement program (in Starr and Zapata Counties), 2. Head Start with PCEP (in Starr and Zapata Counties), 3. PCEP only (Hidalgo County), 4. No PCEP (Hidalgo County). Each one of these groups will have N=100 parents and N=100 children. We do not randomly assign parents to Head Start or not Head Start because the family's residential address determines participation in the Head Start Program. However, we use the lottery to randomly assign parents (and children) to the PCEP program or control condition.

If a participant decides to participate in the study, the participant will participate in A) the PCEP (Parents-Child Education Program) program and program lottery and B) the five evaluation study visits.

The PCEP program includes in-person three-hour sessions every week, and the program lasts nine months. For the five evaluation study visits, we use a cognitive toy box to assess the child. The first visit is right after the participant enrollment, the second and third visits will be during the PCEP program, the fourth visit will be done at the end of the PCEP program, and lastly, the fifth visit will be made at a six-month follow-up. We will interview parents at two points in time, at the first and the fourth visit.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
If a participant decides to participate in the PCEP program, a lottery will randomly select which parents will participate in the PCEP program. We will match parents according to their number of children and educational attainment. Then, after creating these matched pairs, we will randomly assign one of the parents of each matched pair to either PCEP or the control condition.
Randomization Unit
Individual. We will separate the Starr and Zapata parents from the parents in Hidalgo county. After we separate the two clusters of parents, we will randomize parents to the PCEP or control condition within each set.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Our sample consists of 400 parents and 400 children.
Sample size: planned number of observations
800 participants, 400 parents, and 400 children.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
200 parents and 200 children treated, 200 parents and 200 children control.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Rice University Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents


MD5: d2af773c49141652751a47bbffbd3ceb

SHA1: 5d93ba03e558a3c16ab8285b26b7e852b6d41b07

Uploaded At: October 31, 2022