‘Abriendo Puertas’ Program Earns High Marks
The Child Trends Hispanic Institute conducted both impact and evaluation studies of the national program, whose name translates to “Opening Doors,” in which Spanish-speaking parents of preschool-aged children attend 10 instructional sessions covering topics such as health and learning.
The study found that parents in the program “made important behavioral changes to foster their children’s learning, and evidence suggests that these changes were sustained over time.”
Of 922 parents participating in the impact study, 89 percent were born outside of the United States. Roughly half of the participants enrolled in the Abriendo Puertas, and the rest were in a control group that was not in the program.
Researchers gathered information from the parents before entering the program and after completion. Child Trends also conducted an implementation study, in which parents and program personnel participated in focus groups.
Researchers found that the parents increased the amount of educational support for their children at home after participating. The added support included reading to their child more frequently and also using reading techniques such as an expressive voice or discussing the story. Parents gained knowledge about library use and how to evaluate child care quality.
Researchers also concluded that parents appreciated that the program is Spanish-language and that it features culturally relevant music and games, for example.
The evaluation found that the program did not significantly affect parents’ behavior in areas addressed such as health and nutrition, emotional development, and dealing with social service and school officials.