ePALS is a preventive intervention program to strengthen the bond between parent and child and to stimulate early language, cognitive, and social development. Based on longitudinal observations, the program was developed to facilitate parents’ mastery of specific skills for interacting with their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers that lead to better child outcomes, particularly in children from families with limited resources.
Parents independently complete online sessions and then meet weekly with trained parent coaches who review the learned strategies, observe interactions, and support practice using specific techniques. The online PALS sessions use videotaped examples of real mothers and children to demonstrate each concept and allow the parent to critique these examples before practicing the new skills with her own child. Guided practice opportunities recorded between each session help parents move from watching, listening and talking, to doing.
Available in Spanish and English, ePALS is comprised of 11 online sessions for parents of infants and 14 online sessions for parents of toddlers.
ePALS content covers:
- How to respond in a sensitive and contingent manner.
- How to provide appropriate cognitive, language, and literacy stimulation.
- How to help children manage their emotions and behavior.
A typical weekly schedule looks like this:
Parent completes the online sessions (approximately an hour)
- Listens, reads and reviews text, watches video clips.
- Answers video and scenario questions.
- Practices with a child daily.
- Uploads two 5-minute videos playing or doing daily routines with their child.
Parent meets with Remote Coach (approximately 30 minutes)
- Reviews weekly practice items.
- Dialogues about new strategies learned.
- Watches a shared video with a coach, who asks questions and offers suggestions to help parents learn new PALS concepts.
Expectations for Parent Coaches
- Complete initial training and become familiar with PALS content and become certified as PALS Coach.
- Learn coaching techniques, strategies, and effective qualities.
- Participate in ongoing supervision.
- Support parent completion of coursework.
- Review parent video uploads.
- Consistently meet with parents for coach calls.
- Track progress and engagement of parents.
Most resources are available on the Children’s Learning Institute (CLI) engage platform. Parents and coaches can create an account and have access to the video-based courses, handouts, trainings, workshops, and coaching scripts. We have facilitation materials for workshops that involve groups of parents.
Utilizing PALS and PALS Coaching Resources for Parents requires training and certification of parent engagement staff through CLI’s Solutions Group.
Coach/Facilitator Access on Engage
- Log into CLI Engage using your Login.
- Go to Purple Online Learning and Professional Development bar.
- Click on My Enrolled Courses.
- Click Facilitating, click on the purple arrow next to PALS English or Spanish.
- Choose PALS Course you want to review, click on the purple arrow.
- Click on Overview, scroll down to Reports.
- Choose the report you want to review, Activity Completion Report, Course Completion Report or Learner Responses Report-to confirm that participant has completed the course and to review their course answers.
Face-to-face trainings available:
- Key concepts and strategies of PALS
- Coaching effectively
- Support for use of remote technology
Recognizing that remote coaching models are technology-dependent, and, that available resources change rapidly, CLI can provide guidance during trainings on utilized resources and strategies for successfully coaching remotely.
Some recommended tools to consider that are currently applicable (as of this writing, May 2020) are:
- Gmail accounts assigned to participants and facilitators to create ease of access to engage and other platforms/apps utilized during coaching or online coursework
- Google Drive to upload and share video content recorded by participants
- Zoom as a conference call tool—be sure to explore new password-protected options and determine if your agency would benefit from having an enterprise license
- Cloud storage options should be reviewed by each system for compliance with securing family and employee data