III. EXPLORING POSITIONS
Description: A parent educator helps parents obtain the education and skills needed to raise physically, psychologically, and emotionally healthy children. Parents of any socio-economic level can benefit from parenting education. The parent educator may be an employee of a public agency, a private organization, or a self-employed professional.
Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions: The parent educator has knowledge of child development, parenting techniques, community resources, and counseling, is culturally competent, and maintains confidentiality.
Employment Settings: Parent educators work in a variety of settings to assist parents in understanding the development of their child and approaches to behavior management, and/or serve as advocates for children and families in stressful or transitional situations. These settings include:
Public Schools (see Section II, Setting E)
Private Schools (see Section II, Setting D)
Child Care Programs (see Section II, Setting A,B,D)
Head Start (see Section II, Setting B)
Required Qualifications: The qualifications for parent educator vary according to the sponsoring agency and purpose of the program.
Preparation: Educational requirements vary from an Associate's Degree to a Master's Degree in early childhood social work, human services with extensive experience in counseling. Typical coursework includes child development, family dynamics, and principles of counseling.
Alternate Pathways: Occasionally parents, who have benefited from parenting education themselves, become peer parent educators. This is accomplished by participating in training opportunities specifically designed for parents who are interested in working with other parents.
Opportunity for Advancement: There is no specific career ladder for the parent educator. Some parent educators move into administrative positions.
Serving Children Directly – Classroom teacher, social worker, family worker, program administrator.
Serving Families Directly – Same as above.
Providing Information Goods and Services – Referral agent, advocate, publisher, public speaker, developer and marketer of services