Using a randomized control trial, we are testing the following strategies to increase parents’ use of the Talk to Your Baby program and related early language and literacy resources:

These BE interventions will be implemented in the Harlem branch of the citywide Newborn Home Visiting Program (NHVP), which serves more than 1,000 new mothers annually. To test the intervention’s impact, we will compare outcomes for two groups of parents, those randomized to receive the BE interventions and those who do not. The design allows separate assessment of the impacts of receiving any BE intervention and the cumulative effects over the infant’s first 6 months of life as distinct from the effects of the auto-enrollment/texting intervention alone.

The premise of these existing early language education interventions is that they will alter parents’ actual language behaviors with their infant. Can such BE interventions increase parent uptake of such interventions as well as increase positive language interactions with their infants? Two innovative data collection strategies will provide a window into the infant’s home environment: we will use text message responses to measure self-reported parenting behavior; and we will use LENA audio recorders to assess naturalistic early language interactions in the home.

beEll-NYC Theory of Change