Since the implementation of programming in 2012 ELNC has renovated and opened 17 classrooms that were intentionally designed and located to meet the needs of children living within our most vulnerable neighborhoods. Key findings during this time supported what we intuitively knew: Parents who are struggling to meet basic needs and have little or no social capital may have limited capacity and resources to act as a positive change agent for their children.
In response to this issue, PONA Consulting L3C partnered with us to develop the Empowering Parents Impacting Children (EPIC) Model. The core strategy of the model is to provide support, through the services of a Family Coach, to families as they identify and address barriers preventing them from meeting their basic needs and developing a Family Centered Social Capital building plan.
ELNC and Steepletown Neighborhood Services, one of our seven partners, worked together to implement an EPIC Model Pilot Project (September thru June) at last fall. Feedback received from staff and basic reviews of collected information (attendance records, family & parental “goals”, behavioral assessments, etc.) provided evidence that embedding the EPIC model within our ECE programs lead to a higher rate of parent engagement and better usage of teaching staff time. In addition EPIC promoted higher levels of communication among staff, and accountability among preschool parents (regarding attendance and communication with preschool staff).
Based on the success of the EPIC Model Pilot project, ELNC made a decision to embed the EPIC Model within the framework of all ELNC Early Childhood Education programs.
As depicted above, the EPIC Model relies heavily on existing community resources. One of her first priorities will be to establish connections with current human service community systems so that we can establish a network of quality resources that are available to support the well-being of our families.