Parent Education Core Curriculum

Framework (2011):
A Comprehensive Guide to Planning Curriculum for Parent Education Programs

In the Domains of . . .

Parent Development
Parent-Child Relationships
Early Childhood Development
Family Development
Culture & Community

The Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework: A Comprehensive Guide to Planning Curriculum for Parent Education Programs in the Domains of Parent Development, Parent-Child Relationships, Early Childhood Development, Family Development, and Culture and Community defines and places parameters around the core content – what we teach – in parent education. It is not intended to be a prescribed curriculum. It is based on the assumption that parent educators should have autonomy and exercise creativity in assessing the specific and unique needs and expectations of each parent and parent group with whom they work and in designing curriculum and selecting resources to best meet their needs and expectations. The framework provides a foundation and process for doing this work.

The specific goals of the Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework are to provide a resource that:

  1. Frames or defines the body of knowledge in the field of parent education.
  2. Is applicable across the field of parent education with any type of parent education program, population, setting, and delivery mode.
  3. Is a planning tool for development and delivery of parent education curriculum and lesson plans.
  4. Identifies the intended content and objectives of parent education, originally designed for Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and Even Start in Minnesota.
  5. Provides guidance for parent goal setting in parent education.
  6. Guides assessment of parent education outcomes and programs.
  7. Promotes accountability in parent education programs and with individual parent educators.
  8. Informs practice in parent education.

The impetus for developing the Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and the process for using it that are described in this document were strongly influenced by the growing emphasis on accountability in education promoted by public policymakers, other funders, and the general public. It adds standardization to the field and leads to a new level of clarity and professionalism in what should be taught in parent education. It is intended that the content of what is taught in parent education fits within this framework.

This document is intended to enhance both the content and the process of delivering parent education. In order to have the highly skilled professionals needed to do this important work, resources such as this and the educational preparation that supports their use by these professionals are essential.

This framework is designed specifically for parent education for parents of young children, but it can be adapted to parent education for parents of children of other ages. Indicators for school-age children or adolescents can be used with the process described in this document for implementing the framework.

The Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework (PECCF) is available below in PDF format along with the forms in the Framework in Word format for use in curriculum planning for parent education. This document is also available in hard copy for $10 per copy through the Minnesota Association for Family and Early Education (MNAFEE). Make checks payable to MNAFEE and send to MNAFEE, 2738 Evergreen Circle, St. Paul, MN 55110.

Download the entire document Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework (pdf, 50 pages, 354 kb)

Download planning forms and supplement (Microsoft Word documents, 30-43 kb each)

This information is also available on the University of Minnesota website at: