skip to nav skip to content

Evaluation Report for the California Kit for New Parents

Every year, the California Children and Families Commission (First 5) distributes over 500,000 copies of a groundbreaking Parents Kit. Our job was to evaluate the kit's success, and we produced the Executive Summary of the Long-term Evaluation Results for the Parents Kit.

Health Research for Action studied the kit's short- and long-term impact on parents. Through a longitudinal survey of parents, and interviews and focus groups with providers, we showed that:

  • 87% of mothers and 52% of their partners used the kit in the first two months.
  • Parents showed significant gains in knowledge and positive parenting behaviors after receiving the kit.
  • Both short- and long-term gains in knowledge were twice as large as those found in more intensive and expensive parent education efforts.

The kit was most effective when distributed in a prenatal visit, as compared to a delivery hospital or a home visit.

The complexity and scope of this evaluation and the successful results we were able to demonstrate have inspired duplication of the program in other states (Arizona Parents Guide).

The results helped First 5 assess its investment. The recommendations have helped to further improve this large-scale intervention. As a consequence, Health Research for Action has developed versions of the California Parents Guide, a key component of the kit, in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean.

Photo of Parents Kit Evaluation Report Cover
August 2004