Defining Parenting Education

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    NC Agencies and Organizations that Support Parents
  • Sponsored By:
    NC Parenting Education Network
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The North Carolina Parenting Education would like to introduce a definition of Parenting Education to NC Legislators. As the field of parenting education grows and evolves, defining the field and who is qualified to participate in a supportive or educational role in the field is critical. As courts and other organizations mandate parenting education, as the mental health system reforms to become more holistic and preventative, and as stressors on the family grow, having this definition will be critical to link to subsequent actions relative to WHO conducts parenting education in order to make behavioral change in parents and create family resiliency to prevent future intervention with children as they grow as adolescent and teens.

This definition is proposed by the North Carolina Parenting Education Network. If you support this action to move the field of prevention and parent education, please sign on your support indicating your organization.


Parenting education is an organized, programmatic effort that is strengths-based and designed to support parents and other parenting partners while enhancing their competence & confidence to improve their child-rearing knowledge and skills. Parenting education has been shown to decrease child maltreatment, substance use and abuse in families and communities, and increase child resilience and school performance, which lead to academic success.

Parenting education takes place within a variety of contexts, varies in duration and intensity, and is delivered independently or in collaboration with other support services by qualified parenting educators.

Parenting educators are qualified when they have both experience and education working with families and:

* are versed in the priority areas of how to guide, understand, nurture, and motivate children, how to be an advocate for children, and how to model and encourage care for self,
* understands theoretical frameworks in human development and family processes,
* uses appropriate educational outreach methods and apply research relevant to child development and family processes,
* embraces and engages diverse family audiences
* successfully develops, evaluates, and implements educational and outreach programs
* continues to grow personally and professionally, and,
* provides leadership to the emerging field of parenting education.
(based on the National Extension Parenting Educators' Framework (NEPEF), 2002).

In North Carolina, we acknowledge the NC Parent Educator Credential (CPE-I-IV). NCPEN ( recognizes that Parenting Educators function along a continuum while possessing varying levels of education and experiences which qualify them to provide a range of services that support parents.

The term, "Parenting Educator" (or "Parent Educator") and the credentials "CPE-I", "CPE-II", "CPE-II", or "CPE-IV" designate individuals who have been certified/credentialed by the North Carolina Parenting Education Network (NCPEN). Minimum requirements to become certified at the lowest level (IV) are at least two (2) years experience working with families as a volunteer or program assistant, documentation of experience and education in each NEPEF area and a letter of reference from a supervisor about the experience working with families.

"parenting education" is interchangeable with "parent education"